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Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Intellectual Property, Internet |

Panama has a bill that encourages hunt copyright violators

Panama has a bill that encourages hunt copyright violators

On all sides are baked beans, says a Mexican proverb. When we talk about laws that criminalize infringement, applies the phrase to mean that anywhere in the world can appear these measures. Toca look for Panama, where he presented the project on Copyright and Related Rights . The initiative could well be considered as the worst copyright law in history , because it encourages hunting offenders in a way unlikely.

This project was presented last August , with the aim that Panamanian law on intellectual property is compatible with the free trade agreement with the United States holding (why am I not surprised?). Among the proposals included, are extending the duration of copyright to 70 years after the author’s death (the same term as in Argentina or Spain, even less than the 100 years that provides Mexico) or the consideration of temporary copies as infractions.

However, what stands out in this bill is the proposal to enforce it. First, is granted powers to the Directorate General of Copyright (DGDA) to impose fines and penalties, without legal or other legal proceedings. Penalties can amount up to $100,000 for the first time, and up to 200,000 for relapse. In the case of “minor offenses”, the fine is only $500, but must pay the edict.

In addition, this law has a unique modus operandi. While in other countries, the money raised from fines goes to the general budget to be distributed in other areas, here is the DGDA. Reliance will use that money to improve their facilities and to reward employees who help in detecting of copyright infringers. This, of course, represents a serious conflict of interest because DGDA workers act as judge and jury. Do you think anyone would stop to check if, indeed, the case represents a violation of intellectual property, when the opinion is directly reflected on the check?

So, would reward dependence Panamanian economically more offenders who hunt (how?, Watching p2p networks, of course), with incentives that can reach up to half of their current salary. The scenario is dangerous: an accused person would be in sight, waiting for relapse, because the fine (and profit involved) would be doubled. Hopefully this document is not ratified within Panamanian law, and above all, that will inspire other copyright vampires just looking how to extract more and more money.

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