Harmful Colombian copyright law hastily comes up for vote
4:56pm | 9 April 2012 | by Mike Rispoli, English
Only a few months after Colombian lawmakers tabled the controversial intellectual property bill Ley Lleras, Colombian lawmakers on Tuesday will vote on a hastily crafted and harmful attempt to update their intellectual property laws.
Bill 201 is a copyright enforcement initiative meant to align Colombia with its obligations under the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed in 2006. The bill has been fast-tracked to pass before President Obama's upcoming visit to the country. As noted by EFF, the bill goes beyond what's required in the FTA, and is more harsh than US copyright law. Read the unofficial translation here.
EFF writes that the FTA "does not preclude Colombia from adopting flexible copyright exceptions and limitations that would protect Internet users and counter-balance the heightened IP enforcement obligations." Yet Bill 201 gives few fair use exceptions, pushes the copyright term to life of the author plus 70 years, and runs roughshod over due process. Its rules on digital locks, or technological protection measures, are completely divorced from copyright law's purposes. The Bill would allow criminal penalties for non-commercial scale infringement, which the U.S. does not allow.
A sign-on letter against Bill 201 is available at InfoJustice. Visit Colombian copyright activists Red Pa Todos and follow #NoPupitrazo and #SiAnálisis for ongoing updates and conversations about the bill on Twitter.