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Dr. Strangelaw or: How Portugal Learned to Stop Worrying and Love P2P

On January 5, 2011, representatives of ACAPOR (a Portuguese association representing commercial retailers of cultural and entertainment works), wearing t-shirts with the slogans “piracy is illegal” and “1000 complaints per month”, filed a petition with the Prosecutor General’s Office (“PGO”) giving notice of the practice of 1000 acts of alleged usurpation of authors’ rights via peer-to-peer (“p2p”) networks by unknown individuals. Said petition was supplemented in April 2011, with notice of a further 1.000 acts.

Following an Opinion by the PGO (“PGO Opinion”), the Department of Investigation and Penal Action (“DIAP”) of Lisbon decided not to file any criminal char [...]

What is a “work”? Apparently only fine art, Portuguese Appeals Court rules

On 30 June 2011, the Lisbon Court of Appeals has issued its decision in case 323/07.8TVLSB.L1-2 (unfortunately there is no English translation of this). The facts of the case are as follows: a company wanted to hire an artist to create a sculpture, and for that purpose it received a few proposals from different artists. The appellant was one of the artists who sent in a proposal, which was comprised of several elements, including sketches and a maquette. The company did not hire the appellant in the end, so he asked for the preparatory material back. However, the maquette wasn’t returned. It had disappeared, probably because it had been destroyed. The artist sued for damages, alleging inte [...]

A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the new Portuguese proposal on private copying levies

On 2 May 2011 the Ministry of Culture in Portugal made public a law proposal concerning the regulation of private copying levies (the English version of which is unfortunately not available). The law currently in force dates from 2004 and had in turn made some changes to the original law, dated from 1998.

There have been some concerns regarding the compatibility of this proposal with Creative Commons licenses, both in national and international fora. All that ado is about article 5 of the proposal, which reads something like “The equitable compensation of authors and performers is inalienable and cannot be waived. Any contractual clause to the contrary shall be null and void.” While I ag [...]

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