New Minister Of Culture In Brazil Brings Hope Of Return To Earlier Enlightened Copyright Policy
from the back-to-the-future dept
As Techdirt observed back in 2007, Brazilian artists were some of the first to recognize that piracy can be a positive force that helps get the word out about their creations. That was part of a larger openness to new ideas about copyright that was symbolized by the appointment of the well-known Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil as Minister of Culture, a post he held from 2003 until 2008. However, more recently, things have gone into reverse on the copyright front. Ana de Hollanda, the Minister of Culture appointed by the current President, ordered the CC license to be removed from the Ministry of Culture's website, and there were indications that harsher copyright laws were coming.
Now, in something of a shock move, de Hollanda has been dismissed according to this report by infojustice.org:
Ana de Hollanda has been on shaky grounds since she appointed. Her first words were to say she would review the Copyright Law Reform in order to "protect the author" from what she saw as an attack on their rights and its exercise. By that she meant the expansion of the limitations, the supervision of the Collective Management Organization and the institutionalization of the equivalent to a Copyright Office with consulting, mediation and possibly arbitration powers.
As the article points out, there are signs that de Hollanda's successor, Marta Suplicy, may return to the more enlightened policies of Gil and the President who appointed him, known popularly as "Lula". Moreover, Lula's successor, President Dilma Rousseff, has also talked about widening access to culture in her country:
It is important to note that, when taking office in 2011, the President Dilma established 13 directives which were priorities for the Government. Among them, the 11th, there is an explicit statement on "democratization of access to cultural goods". One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system.
It's too early to tell whether the new Minister of Culture will make that happen, but the signs are looking better than they have for a while.