NEWSLETTER - AUGUST 2020

IFPI LATIN AMERICA

REFORM OF MEXICO’S COPYRIGHT ACT: HISTORIC CHANGES IN THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF RELATED RIGHTS

On June 30, after a virtually unanimous vote, Mexico’s House of Representatives approved a partial reform to the Federal Act, which regulates the obligations undertaken under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Several aspects of this reform have been welcomed by the music industry including making available and communication to the public rights; the protection of comprehensive technical protection measures implemented by right holders in the digital environment; and the obligation for digital platforms to refrain from uploading content for which they have received a take-down notice. This reform - a historic piece of legislation on account of its revolutionary design and the protection it grants to right holders - was enacted just one day after approval by the legislature.

FISCAL INCENTIVES IN COLOMBIA: EXECUTIVE ORDER 818, ENACTED ON JUNE 4

On June 4, 2020, the Government of Colombia enacted a package of 20 executive orders containing extraordinary measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for the national economy. One component of these measures is Executive Order 818, which grants a one-year VAT reduction for phonogram production and reproduction, dropping from 19% to 4%. The Order sets forth the same benefit for a number of businesses connected with musical show production and other cultural and entertainment-related activities. IFPI wishes to congratulate the Government of Colombia on these measures, which recognize the significance and contribution of the music industry to the national economy.

INDECOPI URGES COMPANIES TO CONTINUE TO PAY COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS FEES DURING THE CRISIS

At the beginning of June, the Peruvian Copyright Office, INDECOPI, updated its website to include a message urging radio and open and subscription TV companies to continue to pay copyright and related rights for the use of films, music and other protected content. In this message, INDECOPI asked its authorized collective management organizations to report on non-fulfillment of this so relevant legal penalties can be applied. The cultural sector wishes to express its gratitude to INDECOPI for this action in these dire times.

MEXICO: A NEW PIECE OF LEGISLATION ENABLES BLOCKING PIRATE WEBSITES

The Mexican Congress has passed a comprehensive reform of the Federal Industrial Property Act, which provides protection for all intellectual property rights (i.e. trademarks, patents, copyright, and related rights) in the administrative arena. This new legislation expressly includes regulations that enable the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) to order blocking access to websites engaging in piracy of copyrighted works and content protected by related rights, such as phonograms. These new legal powers will also enable IMPI to develop an effective campaign to fight piracy against websites that have traditionally managed to circumvent justice through having representatives or offices located outside Mexican territory.

A VICTORY FOR THE CULTURAL INDUSTRIES IN BRAZIL: A PROPOSAL TO EXEMPT HOTEL ROOMS AND CRUISE SHIP CABINS FROM PAYMENT OF RIGHTS IS WITHDRAWN

Legislators in favor of an exemption for payment of fees for copyright and related rights for music played in hotel rooms and cruise ship cabins have now withdrawn their proposal. This followed several attempts to include this exemption in temporary executive measures and the withdrawal is largely thanks to the robust, well-organized opposition led by Brazil’s national copyright collection agency, ECAD, and by the country’s artists, producers and collective management organizations. The final blow against these attempts was delivered by local artist Anitta, who used social media to challenge one of the congressmen that favored this exemption. The argument led Anitta’s millions of followers across Brazil to criticize the legislator’s proposition. We wish to congratulate all of Brazil’s artists, authors, producers, and collective management organizations on this effective move to defend their rights

ANTI-PIRACY CAMPAIGN 

The anti-piracy campaign designed to reduce the visibility of illegal music websites across Latin America exceeded 12 million blocked URLs in Google and Bing’s search results across the region during the first half of 2020. This was particularly effective in search results for illegal downloads of music repertoire and catalogs by Latin artists. This operation by digital content protection teams in the region involved Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, and the regional office, and to this date, it has succeeded in blocking in excess of 583 million illegal music URLs. In addition, the campaign has succeeded in removing over 100 domain names involving illegal Latin music websites.

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