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Brazil Forbids DRM On the Public Domain 258

Posted by kdawson
from the what-they-said dept.
nunojsilva writes "Cory Doctorow reports that the Brazilian equivalent of DMCA explicitly forbids using DRM-like techniques on works in the public domain. 'Brazil has just created the best-ever implementation of WCT [WIPO Copyright Treaty]. In Brazil's version of the law, you can break DRM without breaking the law, provided you're not also committing a copyright violation.' This means that, unlike the US, where it is illegal to break DRM, in Brazil it is illegal to break the public domain."
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Brazil Forbids DRM On the Public Domain

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  • That is nice to hear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RandomAdam (1837998) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:15AM (#32871740)
    Nice to hear that at least some places in the world wont criminalise people so x-megacorp can "protect" their investment even after it should have passed into public domain
  • Fascinating (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:21AM (#32871768)
    <p>
    How long will it be before US sanctions and pressure from other governments still controlled by the **AA pirates  forces them to fall in line and adopt more conventional DMCA rules?
    </p>
  • not unusual (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:31AM (#32871824) Homepage Journal

    Really not surprising. When the US was a small, backwater english colony, it was also famous for its piracy (of books, in that time).

    It is the countries with the massive content industries that have the strict copyright regimes. Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

  • Re:not unusual (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoMaster (142776) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:15AM (#32871994) Homepage Journal

    And when it was a slightly larger, less backwater independent nation, it was famous for its piracy of other art forms [wikipedia.org]...

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sulphur (1548251) on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:16AM (#32872006)

    They make their ethanol from sugar which is more efficient than corn.

    Once an ethanol market is bootstrapped, one can switch to cellulose which uses no foodstuffs.

  • by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:25AM (#32872048) Homepage Journal

    If there is a variable encryption key which cannot trivially be deduced from a "fair use" segment, then all the labels have to do is require that reviewers request a set of pre-generated keys for the specific segment they want to quote.

    I'm not saying this would be sane or rational, merely that it would meet the objectives of fair use without eliminating DRM. There is no serious fear of a "secure" DRM ever existing - the companies aren't skilled enough to fix trivial flaws, so there's not the slightest possibility of them even reaching the point of making things difficult. In fact, the methodology seems to be one of relying on the law for security with DRM providing a rationale. On that basis, I'd say that the loss of any level of legal protection in any country in the Americas will prove troublesome.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:11AM (#32872246)

    It's not crazy or upside down at all.

    The United States Economy is built largely on IP law. We export research, science, art and knowledge to other countries which manufacture products based on that investment.

    Publishers and Manufacturers just put data on disks and pages. Without IP laws standing in their way they could make DVDs for $0.01 each. They still make just as much profit as before (actually more since they can sell a DVD now for $1 and pocket $0.99 instead of $0.001 profit on manufacturing they would charge before.

    They're leading the way because they have no interest in protecting intellectual property.

  • Re:not unusual (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ignavus (213578) on Monday July 12, 2010 @04:48AM (#32872558)

    Really not surprising. When the US was a small, backwater english colony, it was also famous for its piracy (of books, in that time).

    It is the countries with the massive content industries that have the strict copyright regimes. Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

    Yep. Copyright (and patents) is imperialism carried out by means other than tanks. The tanks are just there in case some punk country STILL doesn't pay its tribute (aka copyright and patent licence fees).

    Every little country realises that "intellectual property" is intellectual imperialism (a.k.a "we thought of it first!"). Every big country has forgotten that lesson from its past, and just goes around trying to figure out new ways to make the rest of the world pay it more tribute.

  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:18AM (#32872666) Homepage

    >I think you're confusing the technical ability to break encryption with its legality. It seems that the new proposed legislation would allow you to legally break the DRM encryption to use something under fair use. It doesn't say that whoever put DRM must tell you how to break it or give you keys.

    Actually, it DOES. It states that the DRM MUST allow you to exercise (any and all off) your fair-use rights. It makes it a criminal offense punishable with a fine to prevent them. This means that if a user demands the keys in order to make a backup copy of a piece of media, they would be committing a crime if they refused to provide them, unless of course, the DRM in question is built in such a way that it makes these fair use rights actively doable already (like e.g. steam's allowed-backup system).

  • There is something you all need to know about Brasil (do you prefer New York or Nova Iorque?), and I can tell, I'm not any proud of it.

    The congress can aprove whatever law they want in Brasil, even DMCA-like, which I think it's very unlikely. Once aproved there are no grantees that the law will be respected.

    Many laws in Brasil exists only on paper, and has't any kind of regulation nor enforcement. People simply ignore them, and even police, or official fiscalization, does nothing about it, the law is completely ignored by all sectors of society.

    For example. Rip a CD or a DVD is not legal in Brasil. But everybody does it, and nothing is done about it. I have discovered about this a couple of month ago.

    Another example. It's not legal to sell pirated CDs or DVDs. But in any city, even the smaller ones, it's possible to buy illegal copied CDs and DVDs for as much as US$ 2,50 each movie, US$ 1,50 each CD. It's very easy to buy a XBox 360 game for US$ 10. And as easy as find someone selling this CDs and DVDs on streets is to find a policeman buying from them.

    This kind of attitude is not only found in copyrighted material. It's easy for a minor to buy alcoholic beverages or cigars.

    So, the congress can even aprove a DRM-like legislation, but it will certainly not leave the paper. USA hungry for copyright protection will be pleased, but the society will ignore the law and thigs will remain the same as they are today.

    Try to discuss something more practical about Brasil.

  • by Pentium100 (1240090) on Monday July 12, 2010 @06:58AM (#32873002)

    I know what DRM is. Now if you want to talk semantics, imagine you own a work that you want to put on your website, so you encrypt it so that only your friends and family can view it, with your special viewer.

    This is not DRM. If you want to make the information accessible to selected group of people, you can just share the encryption key with them. DRM starts when you want to simultaneously allow your friends to access the content, but also not allow them to copy it and upload to some other site. And this cannot be done. The friend in question can always point a camera at the screen and then upload the recorded video. Hollywood tries to come up with an unbreakable DRM, see how successful they are...

    Also, if this was before high speed internet, and you shared the content on film, audio and VHS tapes, floppy disks (for text) or paper? Your friends could still make copies, broadcast the media on radio or TV (if they had access) or just show it to everyone whether you like it or not.

    Not distributed enough for you? Imagine a Linux based computer like OLPC targeted for kids. Your company distributes Open Source/Public Domain works under DRM to ensure that your users only run software that's up-to-date, reviewed, and covered under your support contract. Now this company can't do business in Brazil.

    Open source software cannot have DRM. Why? Simple, if I have the source code, I can just remove the DRM.
    You can use hardcoded checks for updates if you want to, but that can also be patched, especially with access to source code.

    Also, you can refuse support if the software is not up to date or not covered under the contract.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captainpanic (1173915) on Monday July 12, 2010 @07:03AM (#32873012)

    It's not crazy or upside down at all.

    The United States Economy is built largely on IP law. We export research, science, art and knowledge to other countries which manufacture products based on that investment.

    Publishers and Manufacturers just put data on disks and pages. Without IP laws standing in their way they could make DVDs for $0.01 each. They still make just as much profit as before (actually more since they can sell a DVD now for $1 and pocket $0.99 instead of $0.001 profit on manufacturing they would charge before.

    They're leading the way because they have no interest in protecting intellectual property.

    You seem to suggest that Brazil does no research at all, has no universities, no industry that does any inventions, that it produces no movies, no music, and has no culture.

    You're right that it seems that Brazil has little interest to protect IP. But the reason is not because they don't produce any IP themselves. The reason is that they see the added value of sharing it.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @07:46AM (#32873138)

    We still import a lot of wheat from US.

    And as usual with Brazil, you have to learn the good stuff about yout own country from outside. They end up doing good stuff, doesnt want anybody to know about it (I guess the only exception is breaking some med copyrights).

    Since we're approaching the presidential elections, I would suspect this is a move to please someone with a little brains than people who enjoy carnavals. Or maybe it has something to do with the electronic voting machines...

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:04AM (#32873198) Homepage
    ,,,if doing so does not infringe copyright. From Title 17 [cornell.edu]:

    No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

    Thus the activity must be such that some other provision of Title 17 would be violated and the copyright owner must object. Material in the public domain is thus not covered. The DMCA "circumvention" provision is execrable, but Slashdot regularly grossly exaggerates its breadth.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:13AM (#32873240) Homepage Journal

    What a funny turned upside down world.

    There has been a quiet revolution going on in South America for at least the past decade. With countries moving to the Left and succeeding. We get to hear about Hugo Chavez and what a terrible man he is, but except for the North American corporate tools that still ply their trade down there, and right-wing thugs for hire, he's pretty much beloved. We don't hear about it because the corporate press in Venezuela (and Peru, and Bolivia, and Brazil) refuse to tell the story, but these South American countries have been succeeding not using an American-style, "free-market", corporations run everything system, but with a center-Left, enlightened form of Socialism that's a lot more like Northern European success stories like Sweden and Denmark. In Brazil, for example, there's this widespread belief that the rich natural resources (like the Public Domain) actually belong to the People instead of a banker or shareholder.

    In fact, "European-style" Socialism can learn a lot from some South American countries. It's still far from perfect, and as you say they're not quite "First World" yet, but they're coming on strong and unlike other places, it's happening for everyone, not just the rich.

    I spend a lot of time in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. I just got back from Campinas where I went to play my cavaquinho in a samba festival and hike a bit. I have friends down there at various socioeconomic levels and ethnic backgrounds, and they all tell me the same thing.

    Seriously, there's a story to be told about the South American successes that's going to take a lot of people by surprise.

  • by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:38AM (#32873380)
    I'd like to draw attention to two provisions of the proposed law that are much more important, IMHO: Art. 46, I, explicity allows one copy by any means for private, non-commercial use. Art 46, II, explicity allows format-shifting for private and non-commercial use.
  • Re:is a / has a test (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:09AM (#32873594)

    well, the Age of Consent [wikipedia.org] in Brazil is apparently 14, anyway, so its still wrong, just differently so.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:37AM (#32873846)

    Parent is not insightful. Parent is factually incorrect.

    Ethanol is not sustainable. Brazil is razing millions of acres of rainforest to get a few seasons of sugarcane after that, the nutrients are used up, the top soil is washed away and they are left with a dead spot of sandy clay.

    In the US we like to think we do better, but in reality we are only delaying the inevitable. Thanks to fertilizers derived from cheap oil, we can keep the soil full of nutrients (and poisons) for an extra decade or two. But at the same time, we don't have the rainfall to support the crop growth and rely on aquifers that will take hundreds of thousands of years to replenish. When the Ogallala goes dry a couple decades from now, agriculture in the midwest ends and no other nation on earth will be able to replace the US as the worlds bread basket in a sustainable way.

  • by wolrahnaes (632574) <(sean) (at) (seanharlow.info)> on Monday July 12, 2010 @10:37AM (#32874438) Homepage Journal

    Hell, ask Marc Emery [wikipedia.org]. Sold pot seeds in Canada where it is legal to do so (even to the point that the Canadian government directed medical marijuana patients to him). Some went across the border, the DEA didn't like that, and they pressured the Canadians in to arresting and extraditing one of their own citizens for doing something that wasn't a crime there.

    Really shows how fucked our "justice" system can be (and how weak-willed the Canadian authorities apparently are).

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:3, Interesting)

    by twistedsymphony (956982) on Monday July 12, 2010 @11:21AM (#32874906) Homepage
    oil will always have the ability to be price competitive with alternatives... the problem is that it's only harvested and not grown, so the supply is finite and can only be harvested from certain locations, which gives those land owners an unfair advantage in comparison to the rest of the world.

    Making the switch to Ethanol shouldn't be done for cost reasons, rather it should be done to gain independence from foreign oil "owners", and switch dependency to a resource that can be renewed as opposed to one that will eventually dry up.

    like any manufactured product new techniques will develop that will help drive the costs down... but the first step is making the switch.
  • by russotto (537200) on Monday July 12, 2010 @11:23AM (#32874928) Journal

    I wish I had mod points, because you're right and it's a fact that has not been sufficiently exploited. Suppose I want to break DRM technique X. At least in theory, all I have to do is arrange for a public domain work to be protected by technique X, without that particular instance of X covering any copyrighted works. Now I can write and publish a tool for breaking technique X, and even demonstrate it on the public domain work, without (theoretically) falling afoul of the DMCA.

    I doubt the courts would actually go for this interpretation, but it would be an interesting test case.

  • Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lbschenkel (751547) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:23PM (#32877634)

    I agree with some points you make, but being a Brazilian who lives in Sweden and works in Denmark I can say that I have intimate knowledge of both "Brazilian-style" and "Europen-style" socialisms. Brazil can indeed teach a lot of lessons to the Europeans, but we're still far away from a place like Sweden. We are advancing, that's a fact, but in a very slow pace compared to what we could achieve according to our size and resources.

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