Copyright and related rights, as well as their relationship with the Internet, was one of the topics addressed in the afternoon session of the 1st National Congress on Intellectual Property. The way in which the network makes it difficult for the law to act was in the order of the debate and it was up to the French lawyer André Bertrand and Luis Pais Antunes to present their views on this topic.
According to André Bertrand, who began his intervention by stating that the European directive for the protection of copyright has not been fully transposed into French law, justice has presented different ways of interpreting and applying laws in similar situations.
As an example, he stressed some French lawsuits against the MySpace and Dailymotion platforms. In the first case, the News Corp platform was accused of publishing content that violated copyright, forcing it to compensate the victim, while in the case of Dailymotion the outcome was the opposite, since the platform was acquitted for being a mere channel. hosting the same content.
It is visions like these that have led Luis Pais Antunes to question whether the Internet would kill copyright. The speaker states that «this is not a case of death but of difficult survival» of the rights given the very social, cultural and technological evolution.
In his opinion, «to marry a temporal thing, characteristic of a society, with a vehicle of communication of superior speed is almost impossible» and that is why it is so difficult to combat the violation of copyright on the Internet.
«The lack of geographical and physical barriers creates difficulties in enforcing rights on the Internet,» explained the lawyer, reinforcing the idea based on the current judicial and administrative slowness.
According to Luis Pais Antunes, social evolution is faster than legal evolution and laws eventually emerge when new forms of piracy have already been created and when those intended to be punished are outdated.
Taking networks as an example peer-to-peer, said that it will always be difficult to punish those who use these platforms to purchase music, films or software since «it is difficult for the legislator to locate the offender».
Luis Pais Antunes ended his presentation by stating that although the directive transposed into Portuguese law is positive, the issue of copyright infringement will always be a problem to be tackled by the industry, since it will hardly be able to keep up with the user’s dynamics.
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