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NEWSLETTER - JANUARY 2020

IFPI LATIN AMERICA

Barbados joins the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

The WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) entered into force for Barbados on December 13, 2019. This marks an important step by the government of Barbados towards securing protection for performances and phonograms in the digital environment. In particular, it is a positive step towards providing right holders, both national and international, with better-related rights enforcement on digital platforms.

 

Barbados´ accession is the result of multiple lobbying efforts and requests made by local and overseas copyright and related rights organizations, under the leadership of COSCAP, IFPI’s affiliated music licensing company in the country.

Uruguayan Congress extends the term of copyright protection on works, performances and phonograms to 70 years

After more than a decade of endeavors led by the Uruguayan Record Association (CUD), the Uruguayan Congress met in a joint session on December 18, 2019, and passed a bill to modify Article 7 of the existing Copyright and Related Rights Act,  extending the term of copyright and related rights protection to 70 years. This landmark decision brings Uruguay into line with a large number of countries, both in the region and worldwide, which offer more favorable protection of copyright and related rights.

The music industry welcomes this positive reform which closed 2019 on a high note, and IFPI congratulates CUD on its key contribution to this achievement.

Court of Appeals of Santiago de Chile ratifies the right of phonogram producers to collect royalties for the reproduction of their sound recordings

In a unanimous decision issued on October 24, 2019, the 8th Civil Division of the Court of Appeals of Santiago de Chile dismissed the request for constitutional protection submitted by a number of commercial establishment owners from the Providencia Municipality. The plaintiffs alleged that IFPI Chile had harmed their constitutional rights by carrying out inspections of several public venues in order to verify the unauthorized use of phonograms on computers, digital jukeboxes and other devices for subsequent use as background music. In deciding the case, the Court clarified that filing complaints with the authorities, carrying out inspections in commercial establishments and collecting evidence with the help of the police cannot be regarded as a violation of a constitutional right, as these actions are related to the exercise of intellectual property rights, which are clearly protected by Chilean legislation. The Court rejected all grounds on which the complaint was based and additionally the court ratified the right of phonogram producers to license the use and exploitation of phonograms by means of “dubbing”, or digital reproduction for subsequent use as background music. 

First pay-TV license in Ecuador

Intense work by IFPI’s collective management society in Ecuador (SOPROFON) to extend its license coverage to the pay-TV sector came to fruition in December 2019. Long-standing efforts on multiple fronts resulted in the signing of a licensing deal between SOPROFON and the Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT), a state-run operator with a significant market share in the country´s pay-TV market. This agreement puts an end to a dispute dating back to 2011 and paves the way for future co-operation.

 

The agreement between SOPROFON and the CNT is of great significance, and it is to be expected that other pay-TV operators will follow suit: the state-run operator’s lack of recognition of phonogram producers´ rights was the key argument others used to avoid complying with copyright legislation, but this argument is no longer valid. IFPI wishes to extend congratulations and express appreciation for all of those who have collaborated in bringing this difficult process to a satisfactory conclusion.

New training activity in Peru

On October 15-16, 2019, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) organized an advanced workshop on intellectual property protection strategies in the digital environment, with the support of IFPI Latin America and Peru´s collective management organization (UNIMPRO). The workshop was aimed at the staff of INDECOPI (a public agency entrusted with the protection of intellectual property in Peru) and other local institutions such as the National Police, the Prosecutor´s Office, and Customs.

 

The “Copyright Digital Protection” workshop was a major step in strengthening  INDECOPI´s institutional ties with top intellectual property protection agencies worldwide, including UK IPO and the City of London´s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), both of which successfully carry out multiple high-impact initiatives to combat digital piracy. As a result of this positive relationship between UK IPO and INDECOPI, it is expected that INDECOPI´s Copyright Office will make significant progress in the implementation.

A change to the Paraguayan tax regime favors the local collective management society

In a ruling on October 21, 2019, the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay ended a long-running controversy between the local collective management organization (SGP) and the country´s tax authority over taxes in relation to SGP’s operations. In its final decision, the Supreme court ratified that SGP should not be subject to VAT or income tax as the royalties it collects are then distributed to the rights holders it represents by mandate. From November 1, 2019, SGP updated its method of royalty invoicing and payment accordingly, as the collection and distribution of royalties on behalf of right holders have been confirmed exempt from taxes.