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.

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 1:44am

    Glyn, opinions are not facts

    "One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system."

    The same thing could be accomplished by opening more libraries or approving more over the air TV channels. You are taking this guy's opinion and trying to make it sound like fact. It's not.

     

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      Lurk-a-lot (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 1:55am

      Re:

      And you are making it seem like Glyn said this rather than simply quoting President Rousseff.

      Anyhow, it's less an opinion, but more a directive to her government.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:06am

        Re: Re:

        No, actually it's the article he is quoting that is saying this, not specifically the President.

        It should also be noted that this President has changed cabinet members (and ideas) fairly often. I wouldn't count on this appointment meaning anything more than a shuffle for the sake of shuffling.

         

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          Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually she said that. I watched that live ;))

          Also, it's not for the sake of shuffling. It's a political move because Marta Suplicy gave up trying to run for São Paulo Prefecture so Fernando Haddad could run for it. As a consolation prize she got the Culture Ministry.

          I do expect her to be better than her predecessor though for my experience as a citizen of São Paulo during her mandate. She has a tendency to really do what's best for the poorer (as she did during her mandate) and opening up copyright and allowing culture to spread is on par with that philosophy. Also, she has a son called Supla who is a singer himself and as far as I know he is the type of artist that couldn't care less with copyright so this should influence her.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Umm did she say all of it, or just the first part?

            I can't find the full quote anywhere... I can see the president talking about "Among them, the 11th, there is an explicit statement on "democratization of access to cultural goods". " but I can't find the direct quote of " One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system."

            Care to share a link with the rest of us, because the story is lacking entirely in substance on that level.

             

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              Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's actually a good question. I don't know exactly how you translate what she said. The translation for copyrights is not literal too, a literal translation from the Portuguese words "direitos autorais" is "authoring rights". I can try and fetch the Portuguese version but I'm fairly sure that this was the best translation the story could give.

              The linked article is dead on on what's happening here and the translations are as good as possible: http://infojustice.org/archives/27320

              Also, that article links to Dilma's Governmental Directives in which you have:

              11. Valorizar a cultura nacional, dialogar com outras culturas, democratizar os bens culturais e favorecer a democratização da comunicação.

              To value national culture, dialogue with other cultures, democratize*** the cultural goods and favor the democratization of communications.

              *** This word is used pretty much in the same meaning as popularize (make it popular and widespread).

              I'm wary to say it explicitly says they will strengthen copyright limitations and exceptions but to achieve what that directive says it's the logical step and Lula had the same ideas and as we've seen under Gilberto Gil Ministry that's pretty much what was done either officially or unofficially (there's no case against file sharers and it's very limited against sharing sites as far as I know). The aberration in this process is ECAD (the collection society) they pretty much run in the opposite direction. Generally speaking the article is right on spot, both TD and Infojustice ones.

               

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        Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:10am

        Re: Re:

        Checkmate. The troll loses ;)

         

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      Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:08am

      Re:

      opinions are not facts

      Especially when they come from you!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 1:45am

    let's hope this becomes reality. my concern would be how much pressure the new minister is able to take from the entertainment industries, particularly from the USA, and if she can be 'convinced' to follow the model set by the recent sacked minister.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:20am

      Re:

      No such a thing. The MAFIAA did 'buy' some politicians (Senator Azeredo for instance) but it's not in the current leading party (PT- Partido dos Trabalhadores) ideas to limit culture spread. If it was the other party we'd be as closed as the US (though I might be wrong).

       

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    Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:52am

    As an interesting note, Brazilian Government has set up a "Public Domain" website (http://www.dominiopublico.gov.br) that makes available for free any Portuguese content that is in the public domain. It's somewhat limited for now (not movies and other mainstream content available) but it's one initiative that should be supported and praised. It is interesting that they say that it is very hard to assert that a determined work is in the public domain due to international copyright laws in their "collection policy".

    There are other open culture initiatives and sites maintained by the Govt but I use this one quite frequently.

     

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    Michael, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 5:04am

    So while America keeps degressing into a corporate lockdown of all culture, countries like Brazil are becoming progressive in promoting the use of their culture. Go figure.

     

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      Not That Chris (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      Oh Brazil, that poor, poor third world country. It's time 'Murica stepped in to help them out of the dark ages of rampant freedom.

      /s

       

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        Ninja (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:26am

        Re: Re:

        I lol'd. The main issue Brazil is facing now (and it seems the US are on their way to face despite being an involution) is the income inequality. While we managed to bring our miserable and very poor up a notch (to the point they can now buy popular cars) so there's a much narrower gap between them and the middle class the gap between the middle class and the uber rich (not counting the billionaire but the high society) is still insanely wide. I consider a country developed when the difference in the income of the lower slice of the population is not too big when compared to the higher slice.

        We are walking very slowly in this sense because while the lower slice can now buy their cars the educational system is still very very deficient.

         

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      Jay (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      The problem is the 14th Amendment allows corporate speech through a misreading precedents. Kind of sad that we can't regulate the largest companies because of problems in judicial activism.

       

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    Scott Mohr, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Sure...

    "Enlightened Copyright Policy" is another way of saying: "I wanna steal as much music as I can without paying for it." You can call yourself a pirate or "enlightened" all you want. I am a musical artist, and when you take my work without paying for it you steal from me, making it much harder to make a living in music, and therefor much harder to make more music. Hope all you "pirates" are proud.

     

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      MrWilson, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:59am

      Re: Sure...

      Ooh! A strawman argument generating exercise. Let me try:

      "I am a musical artist" is another way of saying "I make fart noises that I force others to listen to and expect them to pay me for!"

      See how that works? I just take anything that someone says and re-interpret it according to my bias and agenda and suddenly they're the bad guys, even if that's not actually what they said. Then I can pretend that anyone who makes reference to the statement I twisted is supportive of the twisted interpretation.

      We'll try it again, just for fun.

      "Hope all your 'pirates' are proud" is another way of saying, "I'm a goat rapist." Why would I buy your music if you're just going to spend it on acquiring goats for your sick pleasures?

      What? You're not a goat rapist? But I just said you are and therefore it's true because I said so! Anyone who buys your music supports goat rape! Moral panic! Think of the kids (i.e. baby goats)! Somebody pass a law!

      Or maybe it would be nice to have a civilized conversation instead of just throwing around strawmen and vilifying people who disagree with you.

       

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      MrWilson, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 11:13am

      Re: Sure...

      Also, if your name is Scott Mohr, obscurity, rather than copyright violation, appears to be a bigger problem. Doing a google search for "scott mohr" and "music" turns up results for a sound engineer for a 1989 album. If that's you, you don't seem to work much or to work much on projects that have your name on them. If that's not you, you seem unknown enough that nobody could violate your copyrights if they wanted to because your music just isn't out there.

      Do you actually know how much money you're supposedly losing due to copyright violations (based on the flawed assumption of a one-to-one lost sale ratio) or are you fighting with strawmen over a hypothetical loss you're not actually experiencing?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 11:49am

      Re: Sure...

      Be my guest, I solemnly swear not to listen to your work, ever.

       

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      silverscarcat (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 1:12pm

      Re: Sure...

      Who the hell are you?

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 2:30pm

      Re: Sure...

      That's not possible. The usual dissenters here say that all we ever download is One Direction or whatever latest music is out there right now.

      Your name is nowhere in the Top 20. You're clearly not being affected.

       

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