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Brazil Forbids DRM On the Public Domain 258

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:06AM (#32871700)

    This means that, unlike the US, where it is illegal to break DRM, in Brazil it is illegal to break the public domain.


  • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:11AM (#32871722)

    Copyright laws work for the good of the people

    What a funny turned upside down world. The first world nations are striving to work against the people, and the not so first world nations have this crazy idea to work for their people.

    *sips coffee*

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:13AM (#32871732) Journal

    This is a masterful inversion of the motivation behind the treaty which more or less makes it impossible to implement any kind of reasonable (in the eyes of the likes of **AAs) DRM --- because the DRM has to enable at least limited copying since fair use/dealing is one of the exceptions the DRM has to enable. If everyone can copy X seconds out of of a work (X > 0), then if enough people join forces, they can copy a work of any finite length.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:14AM (#32871738)

    I assume it simply meant it is illegal to move public domain works into a form that gives IP rights over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:27AM (#32871812)

    Take that, USA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:37AM (#32871850)

    Brazil burns a lot of ethanol (world's first sustainable bio-fuel economy), so they can be energy self-sufficient as well. How the hell will the enlightened world ever be able to embargo them into submission?

  • Re:not unusual (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:21AM (#32872020)

    Brasil isn't home to Hollywood or very many international music superstars.

    Ah yes, that explains everything. Obviously Brazil has no talent to worry about, being a back-water berg with no culture to speak of.. /facepalm

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @02:22AM (#32872024) Journal

    > but isn't it at odds with modern hardware?

    It's "at odds" with the concept of DRM, itself, actually, because the DRM system has to enable limited copying (for fair use --- see my comment above [slashdot.org]).

    This is just a proposal for the law, because of its incompatibility with the status quo of global commerce (as you point out one of many problems) I think it has very, very little possibility of actually becoming law in its proposed form. Unfortunately....

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:22AM (#32872276) Homepage

    What a funny turned upside down world. The first world nations are striving to work against the people, and the not so first world nations have this crazy idea to work for their people.

    Funny indeed, if you haven't put a second thought into actually contrasting "nation" with "people"...

    Who wants you to / how did you you allow yourself to forget that they are basically the same, or at the least the former is a reflection of the latter?

  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:40AM (#32872348)

    Yes I have (I recall the gist of it at least), and that was what I was thinking of indeed.

    Most countries have the power of the courts strictly limited to crimes committed within their own country. Other countries limit their jurisdiction to crimes committed within their borders, and crimes committed outside those borders by their own citizens.

    It seems though that the US has no such limitations: certain acts committed by foreigners in a foreign country where such act is fully legal, but which is illegal in the US, may be prosecuted under US law when that foreigner is in the US. And I recall even reports of US agents abducting foreign citizens in a foreign country, taking them to the US, and prosecuting them there.


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

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:55AM (#32872388) Homepage Journal

    Well, apparently these days one has to spell out everything on /. instead of being able to rely on basic intelligence in the reader.

    I'm sure Brasil has a comparative pool of creativity to the US, Europe, Burma, Greenland or any other place on earth. There are some local differences depending on whether or not creativity is valued in a culture or not so much, but as it's a basic human trait, they are pretty small.

    However, Brasil does not have a massive industry based on copyright. And copyright is, first and foremost and no matter what they try to tell you, an economic law. It gives you you a monopoly on commercial use of your works.

    So, without an industry that is strong in copyright, the country has no major incentives to be a strong proponent of copyright. On the contrary, turning a blind eye to the use of foreign copyrights is a reasonable thing to do (less money flowing out of the country for goods with no tangible value).

  • by Kitsune Inari ( 1801214 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:57AM (#32872390)

    makes it impossible to implement any kind of reasonable DRM

    any kind of reasonable DRM

    reasonable DRM

    Oxymoron detected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @04:00AM (#32872404)

    3D movies exists since tenth of years, but now they implement it.. why ? in order to fight piracy and make harder to copy 3D movies on internet wires with the tons of billion bytes it require... DRM is definitly against people, against new world, against modernism.. what it is all about is fullfill the purse of a few.. but not only those whom created copyright material, but also their son and the son of their son.. doesn't it remind you something someway... turns out like a monarchy. no merit to be a king.. for the sole reason you are the son of the king.. like Bush 43 sole skill was to be the son of a president (Bush 41)..

  • Re:Fascinating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyclomedia ( 882859 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @04:25AM (#32872496) Homepage Journal

    Actually, Brazil has been plenty socking it to the (Gov't of the) USA lately, as part of one of the BRIC bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China) of large economy's that don't give a crap what the USA has to say about a lot of issues. Take for example Brazil hosting negotiations and setting up a deal between Turkey and Iran regarding uranium enrichment. USA was not pleased and made a lot of waa waa noises at the UN but as far as those three are concerned the USA can stuff off and get off their lawn, thank you.

    The USA is still the most powerful nation on earth, but they're at a tipping point and it's not just the BRIC countries that are coming to realize that they can do whatever the hell they like and the USA can just shut up

  • by bzipitidoo ( 647217 ) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:11AM (#32872638) Journal

    There is no serious fear of a "secure" DRM ever existing


    the companies aren't skilled enough to fix trivial flaws

    But not for this reason. DRM that works is a logical impossibility, and no amount of skill can change that. DRM will always have the flaw that it only takes one successful effort to break it, and once broken it is broken for everyone, always. And that in order to be "consumed", content must be unlocked, and then it can be copied in any number of trivially easy ways. The media companies' real difficulty seems to be an unwillingness to acknowledge this.

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:14AM (#32872654) Homepage

    No. A nation is different from people. Take one of the emirates at the persian golf: Large parts of their population are not part of the nation, but they are still people living there.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @05:58AM (#32872774)

    It's a joke to talk about "a fine and balanced approach to copyright law" while ignoring life + 70 years of copyright protection.

    It's a rather dark humor to realize that this is, indeed, what passes as "fine and balanced" in modern copyright law.

    They'll be doddering seniors before anything created in their lifetime is public domain.

    But most stars you see nowadays still burn. That's an improvement, right?

  • by vegiVamp ( 518171 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @07:45AM (#32873136) Homepage
    When and where the interests of corporations supercede those of the people, those two concepts are easily contrasted.
  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:30AM (#32873336)

    They can make DVD's for $0.01 each because that's how much they cost ... ...and they charge the same for a Movie that was made in 1950 where in the USA the stars, director, producer all get nothing, but the publisher still gets their cut of the pure profit, since the cost of making the movie was paid off years ago

    The reason they can charge more than it's worth, is because people thanks to the US movie industry thinks that's how much they are worth ...

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:02AM (#32873540) Journal
    Well, the whole reason DRM exists is because the legal system doesn't scale to the number of law violators that exist. If copyright violation could be prosecuted quickly and efficiently enough to target everyone who did it, you wouldn't need DRM. You could just rely on the law as is. However there are too many violators and the law is too slow and heavy to do that, so you get DRM, and then it kind of makes sense to make breaking DRM illegal because not many people do that, so the law scales to it.

    Interesting. So what happens when DRM breaking outstrips the law's capability to scale to it, say via a program similar to seti-at-home or folding-at home? What happens when botnets start installing this DRM breaker on thousands of computers?
  • by pepeizquierdo ( 1124229 ) * on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:14AM (#32873638)
    I agree in general with your comment but you made a big mistake using Hugo Chavez as an example. Chavez (along with his Cuban masters) is systematically destroying Venezuela democratic system and imposing a dictatorship. And no, he is no longer pretty much loved. Again, good comment but poor example.
  • Re:not unusual (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:35AM (#32873836)

    Stop spelling Brazil "Brasil". I don't care that it's called "Brasil" in Portuguese, it's called BraZil in English. Z Z Z Z Z.

    Do you also go round referring to Germany as "Deutschland" when writing in English?

  • Re:Not the first. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:49AM (#32873950)

    Denmark allows DRM breaking for personal use too...
    if a DRM solution prevents me from viewing a legal DVD I am allowed to break the DRM.

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @09:59AM (#32874084)

    Please understand a bit more before spouting this. A capitalist country with a consumer-based economy requires business protection. What's good for the company is often good for the people. Yes there are some areas in which businesses have benefitted at the expense of the individual, but there are many cases that go the opposite way. You just don't hear people complaining about them.

    To digress a bit, it's like when you learn a word for the first time, and suddenly hear it everywhere. You think it's coincidence, but it's really just that you are paying more attention to it. So someone gives you an anti-consumer example, and then you're looking for it everywhere. That's what individuals complain about, and if you talk to enough individuals, that will be all you hear. A company that pays low wages is controlling costs, and is often preventing those jobs from being lost completely as they are sent overseas. It is a balance in which the individual decides whether to work for a company, and the company tries to woo the employees while not giving so much that the cost of the good or service is overpriced.

    It is a difficult balance, and without business we have neither jobs nor products. So we must concede some points to them.

    Before someone starts on about corporate pay and lobbyists and all that, remember that the "invisible hand of the market" takes a long time to act, and it is currently swinging in the direction of shareholders having input on pay packages (so they can determine whether profits go to a single guy who makes few decisions on his own or to dividends). And more importantly, if you owned a business, wouldn't you want to have some discretion as to what to do with your money? Subject to the whims of the market of course. We need business and business needs us, and if you don't like a business stop buying and educate your friends and neighbors.

    I had a co-worker say that her daughter was caught in one of the mid-range RIAA lawsuits. I discussed some options found here, she decided to just settle. Hearing that decision, I asked her what her daughter was listening to these days (it was summer break). "All legal, paid for CDs, no downloading" she replied. By whom, I inquired, and some of the most radio-popular names spilled out. I told her, you know you're just giving more money to RIAA member companies, the same ones that just got thousands of dollars from you without going through the court system. She then told her daughter that her entertainment budget would be severely curtailed next school year and would have to make decisions about buying music in an informed manner. She was enabling anti-consumer tactics against herself, and had no idea. Ignorance, my point is, is more anti-consumer than any law or ruling or regulation could ever be, and we do it to ourselves.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Monday July 12, 2010 @10:46AM (#32874526) Homepage

    Once any of the companies in power can turn a better profit using anything else, they will switch to it. Whether that be corn, beets or switchgrass - somebody will plant it and produce fuel out of it. Currently however, there is a bigger profit to be made due to the scarcity of oil-based fuels which keeps fuel prices at the point where most of the market can bear it. If the costs rise any higher (as they experimented with a couple of years ago) their customers will stop using which is not good for them. Eventually (within a couple of decades) we'll be running out of accessible sources of dead dinosaurs - then and only then will they not be able to keep the prices under control and have to switch to something else. Whether the poorest of the population dies of hunger because of it, they won't care - until their main markets are starting to get too hungry to pay for the energy will they care.

    Switching to electric cars won't help either - the electricity has to come from somewhere and most likely they'll be building electric generators running on oil/gas - not renewable or nuclear energy because those cannot be easily price-controlled.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @01:18PM (#32876092) Journal

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

    (packs suitcase)

    That's it. I'm moving to brazil. They have the right co copy the CD you buy to your iPod, they have renewable energy for cars (ethanol or biodiesel), and they have women that walk-around topless as often as the men do! This is definitely the country for me. One drawback - Their average internet speed is only 3.8 Mbit/s - about 6 megabits slower than the US or EU average. Oh well. (shrug). I think the topless ladies make up for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 13, 2010 @06:12AM (#32884908)

    Hasn't Chavez limited free speech?

    I'm generally a big fan of the South American leftish governments, but I think there's a huge difference between an enlightened fellow like Lula and a potential dictator like Chavez. Chavez isn't all bad, but he certainly likes to hang out with people who are, and sometimes seems to think everything the US does is automatically bad, even stuff like free speech and democracy.

    On the short term, he may be better than the direct alternative, but in the long run, I think Venezuela really needs a more liberal government (though still a bit left-of-center) if it wants to avoid turning into a really scary country.

    I see Lula and Chavez as two extremes, with the other South American socialist governments (Bolivia, Peru) somewhere in between. I hope the Brazilian example shines enough that the others will follow that.

I've got a bad feeling about this.