the vonderful vorld of virtual v

16. November 2013

Brazil’s Marco Civil about to be voted in Parliament

Filed under: English,News — Schlagwörter: , , , , , — vg @ 16:44

The much applauded Brazilian legislative project for an Internet Bill of Rights is about to enter its decisive phase in the House of Representatives. The Marco Civil da Internet had it ups and downs. A devastating cyber-crime bill introduced by senator Eduardo Azeredo had triggered a wave of protests in 2009. This in turn, led to an innovative, broad, participatory process of drafting a counter-bill guaranteeing fundamental rights on the Internet that was conducted by the Ministry of Justice in partnership with the Center for Technology and Society of the Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School in Rio de Janeiro. The first round of public consultations at the end of 2009 served to identify issues to be dealt with. The draft bill based on the more than 800 contributions was published for public consultation in spring 2010. The administration of President Dilma Rousseff approved the bill and sent it to Congress in August 2011. There it has been postponed and watered down eversince. Especially the net neutrality rules met with resistance by the powerful telcos. Meanwhile, the Lei Azeredo was passed in April 2013.

It took Edward Snowden’s leaks to bring the Marco Civil draft back on track. „In addition to the re-installment of old guarantees aspired for by civil society organisations, the post-Snowden Marco Civil also embodies the reaction of Brazil’s government to the NSA mass surveillance,“ writes Monika Ermert on Intellectual Property Watch. She also presents an English language translation of the current text of the bill, prepared by Carolina Rossini, Project Director for the Latin America Resource Center at the Internet Governance and Human Rights programme at the New America Foundation’s OTI.

Voting on the Marco Civil is again scheduled for next week. It is feared that it sufferes the same fate as the similarly progressive Brazilian Copyright Bill, the drafting and public deliberations on which had started in 2005 already, that was delayed countless times and is now schedulded to be voted in 2015. But there is still hope that the indignation over practices by the NSA and US corporations will create the political will and momentum to finally approve the Marco Civil.

5. April 2013

A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries

Filed under: English,text — Schlagwörter: , , , , , , — vg @ 02:02

Grassmuck, Volker Ralf, A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries (April 4, 2013). Available at SSRN:

The paper looks at the formative phase of media systems particularly in developing nations. It finds that copyright piracy in those situations serves a purpose not only in providing access to knowledge and creative works to audiences who would otherwise be excluded but also as the original accumulation of media infrastructures, know-how and capital that over time leads to the establishment of original forms of creative expression and legal media industries.

Looking at the examples of the publishing of books by foreign authors in 19th century USA, the emergence of the video film industry in Nigeria and briefly at the popular dance music in northern Brazil it shows the beneficial effects of piracy. From a public policy point of view, the paper then considers the benefits of copyright piracy and its harms, the most severe ones of which are caused by its illegality. In order to balance benefits and harms, it concludes by proposing to legalize small-scale physical copyright piracy in developing nations.

Keywords: piracy, copyright law, informal copyrights, access to knowledge, book publishing in 19th century USA, Nollywood, Tecnobrega

23. Oktober 2012

Digitalia 2013, Salvador da Bahia, 1-5 February 2013

DigitaliaDigitalia 2013
Salvador da Bahia
1-5 February 2013

After a grandiose start in 2012, the music-based digital culture conference and festival Digitalia goes into its second year. It is part of an ambitious endeavor that includes research, education, publications, numerous events and the establishment of a Centre for Digital Music and Culture. Digitalia is organised by the social network Audiosfera and the research group of the same name, hosted at the Institute of Humanities, Arts and Sciences Professor Milton Santos at the Federal University of Bahia under the direction of Messias Bandeira. I’m honored to have been invited as one of the curators of Digitalia.

Next year’s themes are: Music and digital culture; economy of online music; copyrights, music and digital culture; music, digital culture and innovation; transversalities. For more details see (in Portuguese):

Chamada de Trabalhos (Call for Contributions), open till 15 November 2012.

7. Januar 2012

„Uma exceção ao direito autoral para monetizar o compartilhamento de arquivos“

11_Repensando_Musica_AuditorioO Centro de Estudos do Auditório Ibirapuera de São Paulo publicou dois livros em agosto do ano passado: o primeiro número da Revista Auditório e a edição especial Repensando Música. Leia mais na página do Auditório.

O segundo livro contém meu artigo: „Uma exceção ao direito autoral para monetizar o compartilhamento de arquivos“, tradução de Raquel Setz

6. Dezember 2011

DIGITALIA – Congresso Internacional de Música e Cultura Digital, em Salvador da Bahia, 1-4 fevereiro 2012

O DIGITALIA – Congresso Internacional de Música e Cultura Digital pretende reunir, em Salvador, de 1o a 4 de fevereiro de 2012, diversas iniciativas que relacionam o campo da música às novas tecnologias da informação e da comunicação, notadamente aquelas conformadas pela chamada Cultura Digital. O congresso está articulado sobre três eixos: de pesquisa, de formação e de integração.

O Digitalia é promovido pela comunidade Audiosfera, uma rede social dedicada à relação entre música e cultura digital, tendo como âncora o grupo de pesquisa de mesmo nome, hospedado no Instituto de Humanidades, Artes e Ciências Prof. Milton Santos (IHAC), da Universidade Federal da Bahia.

23. Mai 2011

Global Congress on Public Interest Intellectual Property Law

On 25-27 August 2011 the American University Washington College of Law in Washington DC will host a Global Congress, no less. If you want to participate in „one of the most important meetings on international intellectual property law and policy of the year“ register here.

The goal of the meeting is to foster a broad dialogue concerning policy options and action oriented proposals in support of the formation of positive agendas for public interest intellectual property law on the global stage.


28. April 2011

@Brazilian Minister of Culture: Enough is Enough!

Filed under: English,translation — Schlagwörter: , , , — vg @ 22:32

Ever since Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff appointed Ana de Hollanda as new Minister of Culture in December 2010, the situation has been escalating. There was a first Open Letter by the Brazilian civil society at the end of December and another one by the international free culture and commons movement in February, asking for a continuation of the impressive free culture policies initiated under Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil. Now an even broader coalition from all wakes of Brazilian culture, from academia and the Internet community and from all parts of the country are calling on President Rousseff to put an end to Ana de Hollanda’s grotesque policy activities and live up to her election campaign promises. At the time of writing, the letter has already received more than 1,200 signatures. Here is an English translation of the Open Letter published on 21 April 2011:


Rethink Music: My ACS Panel Notes

Filed under: English,text,Video — Schlagwörter: , , , , — vg @ 20:15

This is the extended version of my talk notes for the Alternative Compensation Systems panel at Rethink Music on 27 April 2011 in Boston, MA. For some impressions from the conference in general see here. The video recording of our panel — Terry Fisher as moderator, Larry Lessig, Jim Griffin, Ronaldo Lemos et moi — is embedded at the end of the text.


6. März 2011

„Media Piracy in Emerging Economies“ is now available

Filed under: English,text — Schlagwörter: , , , , , — vg @ 23:00

00_MPEE_coverToday, the Social Science Research Council released a large-scale study of music, film and software „piracy“ in the emerging economies of Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is must-read for everybody interested in global media markets and the shaping of the international copyright framework.

Directed by Joe Karaganis, Program Director of the Social Science Research Council, some thirty-five researchers worked together over three years to produce this unique study. The country reports on South Africa, Russia, Brazil, India, Mexico and Bolivia provide a fascinating panorama of the diversity of cultures. They also follow some common themes: that of access to cultural goods, of the desire to be included in global culture and the differential effects illicit trade has on local culture, on the socioeconomics of advertising, pricing and consumption, the varied sources of unauthorized copies mostly in the form of optical discs but with the rapid proliferation of broadband Internet access increasingly through file-sharing, on the moral economies of justifying unauthorized copies and, most importantly for public policy makers, on copyright law on the books and the reality of private and government enforcement efforts in these countries and in the global arena.


7. Februar 2011

WSF: Open Letter to Brazilian President: Continue the most progressive culture policy in the world!

Filed under: English — Schlagwörter: , , , , — vg @ 12:37
Sou MinCC

por um ministério de código aberto e livremente licenciado

The Commons Strategies Group with a little help from some friends has drafted an Open Letter to Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff to be signed by international organizations, academics and activists in support of the work of the Brazilian society and government for the cultural commons. The Open Letter, initiated by Silke Helfrich was issued at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal.

It follows an Open Letter by the Brazilian civil society in December expressing concern that Rousseff’s appointment of Ana de Hollanda as new Minister of Culture might lead to a reversal of the progressive policies under the Ministers Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira. Both letters point out a range of achievements by the previous Ministry of Culture (MinC), including the Points of Culture, the support for free software, the Development Agenda at WIPO, an open inclusive dialogue in society about culture policies, the adoption of free licenses such as those of Creative Commons and the copyright bill. The concern was fueled by the first activities of the new Minister Ana de Hollanda. She announced that she will need to review the copyright bill that was ready to be send to Congress and she withdrew the CC licence from the ministry’s website. For some background on the issues see here.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress