Huge Push In Brazil To Legalize File Sharing

from the hurdles-remain dept

We've discussed some interesting things happening down in Brazil when it comes to copyright. First, we've looked a few times at how the super popular technobrega music industry has thrived by embracing giving away music and using that to build up fame and business models based on selling scarcities -- such as live shows. But, perhaps more interesting has been the ongoing proposals for new copyright laws in Brazil. For example, there was the decision to buck the trend in many places and not have a notice and takedown provision like the DMCA, but only have content get taken down with a court order -- a position that shows significantly more respect for free speech rights. Separately, one recently proposed draft amazingly included penalties for hindering fair use or the public domain.

It's almost as if folks in Brazil have actually noticed how poorly set up most of the rest of the world's copyright laws are.

Last month, Brazil allowed public comment submissions on copyright, and apparently at the last minute, a large group of artists groups and consumer rights groups put together a proposal to "end" the "war on copying" (found via IP Watch). Basically, the plan has a few parts, but the big one is the idea of legalizing non-commercial file sharing in exchange for a broadband levy of 3 Reais -- or about $1.74 US. That's certainly a hell of a lot cheaper than most proposals out there.

That said... while I appreciate getting rid of "the war on copying," I do think there are some serious problems with a proposal like this. Copyright levies tend to have serious unintended consequences. They create large bureaucracies, where money collection and distribution is not always done fairly. In fact, they often tend to favor bigger name artists over smaller artists, and just having the bureaucracy creates overhead that goes to the bureaucracy, rather than the artists. On top of that, it takes away incentive for consumers to support artists directly through other creative business models, because they feel that they "already paid," via the levy. So, as it stands, I don't think this is a great solution, but it's at least a hell of a lot better than copyright law most other places -- and it's great to see a focus on actually getting past the old "copy wars."

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2010 @ 1:12pm

    Just so people know in Brazil, the government is considered to be on the level of rapists by the population and they all know that any tax/levy will end up financing luxurious vacations to the people in charge and be abused.

    Surprisingly many still believe in the democratic process to change the government, which may happen slowly, but I am for once in favor of a bottom up approach, were people take charge of their problems and start taking action to change things.

    In the U.S. that will be hard because is the bottom part that needs changing, culture changed somehow in America and now people believe in things like "zero tolerance", "punishment is better than education" etc, which is a shame.

    The healthcare bill was an example of brute force approach, where people are forced to do something instead of being wooed into it.

    I have been thinking a lot about catastrophes like the Katrina, why people get so weak? I saw the news of flood in England and the British seemed more capable of couping with adverse situations at least the old people there, that knew how to light a fire to keep the house warm, new how to get food and shelter while the younger generation suffered and that is the lesson, governments should be building robustness into society not trying to take care of everything but teaching people how to survive in case things go wrong all those projects from FEMA were shelved why? The best anti-catastrophe plan is to have a able population but no government seems to look at that.

    With able people, things can get hard but it will be easyly dealt with, this is a cultural thing, it shocked me to see people unable to find solutions to simple problems in time of need.

    But for that to happen sharing must be put were it belongs on the top of the list.

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