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Venezuela's Law on Copyright and Associated Rights: Yet another black mark!

By Veneconomy

01.04.05 | A new Law on Copyright and Associated Rights is being hatched in the National Assembly. The bill has already been approved following its first debate, despite the protests of sectors that will be affected by the law. In any country in the world, this type of law is generally designed to protect creative works product of the human intellect over time. However, amazing as it may seem, the legislators of the government coalition have drawn up a bill that will leave creative people and intellectuals in Venezuela exposed. Yet this should come as no surprise in Bolivarian Venezuela, where the illogical has become commonplace and the illegal has become law.

If this bill were to be passed as it is, one of the consequences would be that the right of intellectual authorship would be abolished, as control over these rights would be handed over to the State. In other words, by the grace of this legal instrument, all creations of any type or kind would be exposed to being expropriated without any compensation, at the request of the regime, simply on the grounds that it is in the “public or collective interest.”

The intention is also to use this new law to amend the basic texts of the juridical norms on which the bases of society are built. The bill has serious defects, infringes multiple legal precepts, and impairs legitimate rights and interests of the cultural and information industries. Moreover, it eliminates Article 48 of the present law, which protects established rights. Certainly, this bill, far from encouraging domestic creative production, confiscates and restricts it; and instead of fighting piracy, it encourages it.

Equally serious is the fact that the bill provides for a series of fantasies that contravene international agreements and treaties signed by Venezuela and that have constitutional ranking, which would render the country liable to lawsuits and economic sanctions in the future, and could even force it to withdraw from certain international organizations if they fail to abide by the new Venezuelan regulations.

So far, the government has made its moves with considerable skill and used all its power to impose its strategy of weaving a “legal” fabric of repression and coercion to be put at the service of the process, and which it will apply at its discretion when it considers that the survival of its “revolution” is in danger. The worst part of all this is that, in passing a law that turns its back on the situation inside the country and what is happening internationally, the government would be, once again, putting its desire for social control in order to consolidate its private revolution before the interests of the country and its citizens. Yet another black mark!

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