A wasted Opportunity

Author:Mr Rodrigo Borges Carneiro
Profession:Dannemann Siemsen

After several years under discussion the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet has finally been approved at the National Congress and sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff.

The importance of the Internet nowadays is undeniable and the Civil Rights Framework deals with many sensitive issues such as the protection of the privacy and of the personal details of the users, the assurance of freedom of expression and neutrality of the web.

In dealing with a type of "constitution for the Internet", however, the approved text falls short in not expressly listing respect for copyright among those rights which should regulate control of the use of the Internet in Brazil.

One cannot deny the fact that much of the appeal and usefulness of the Internet is based on the transmission and access to content which is capable of being protected by copyright and Intellectual Property rights that are the fruit of the creativity of authors and investment by titleholders throughout the world.

They are literary, photographic, musical, audiovisual and multimedia works, computer programs, applications and games that entertain, educate and enrich the lives of thousands of users every day.

Without this content the network would lose much of its usefulness and become essentially an enormous international network of empty servers and connection terminals.

Thus, it seems inconceivable that the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet does not incorporate into its principles a general clause with respect to the rights of Intellectual Property alongside the other principals explicitly provided in article 3.

Regardless of the debate on the limits of protection that copyright deserves, which should be locked into the scope of the reform of the specific law for copyright, the Civil Rights Framework for the Internet should not ignore the need to respect copyright and Intellectual Property rights as a fundamental premise so that the web might be constructed on an ethical basis.

Without further counting the fact that the Civil Rights Framework also has an "educational" function, of transmitting to the population the principles that should govern the use of the web and that, in view of the relevance of the works protected by copyright for the...

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