Brazil Looks To Criminalize Ripping A CD?

from the how-quickly-they've-fallen dept

Over the past few years, it really looked like Brazil was close to becoming one of the most progressive countries on copyright issues. It was embracing fair use and the public domain in a strong way, and was even considering proposals to fully legalize file sharing. And, of course, the music industry is thriving in Brazil as well, in part due to the embracing of free distribution. The government had also embraced open culture in a variety of ways, even using Creative Commons licenses on government websites.

How quickly things change.

Within months of a new administration coming to town, the new Culture Minister, ordered the Creative Commons license off of the Ministry's website. When asked why, she said "We will discuss copyright reform when the time comes." But having a CC license on a webpage has nothing to do with copyright reform. However, it was a warning sign that such efforts were coming, and rather than continuing the progress made in the country, the new administration was looking to go in the other direction.

Now it appears that we're seeing some of those efforts in action. The country is considering a broad new "cybercrime" bill, that, among other things, will criminalize both file sharing and ripping a CD to a computer. File sharing may involve infringement, but at a civil, not criminal level. The fact that the government seems to be going much further is ridiculous -- especially at a time when the Brazilian technobrega scene has demonstrated so clearly how an entire musical culture can thrive (and make lots of money) without even using copyright (and even actively ignoring it and encouraging the widespread sharing of works).

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  1. identicon
    Rich, 27 Aug 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: They will just rip CD's anyways...

    Actually, it is not illegal. It is one of the exceptions to the DMCA. Even before the exception was added, the legality was iffy (i.e., untested). Fair use allows it; DMCA does not. Which law takes priority?

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