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Rights of authorship - Protection of intellectual work

Rights of authorship are defined by Law nr. 9610, promulgated on February 19th 1998.
The law came out before the boom of internet, so, there are not specific mentions of this new media; however, article 7 and article 29, X, determine that the terms of the law are applicable to "any other means of utilization, already existant or still to be invented".

Below, a brief description of some relevant articles of the law.
  • Article 1: This law regulates the rights of authorship
  • Article 2: Foreigners residing abroad will be protected by the Agreements, Conventions and Treaties signed by Brazil.
    Paragraph: This laws is applicable to nationals of or residents in countries which assegurate to Brazilians or residents in Brazil reciprocity in protection to rights of authorship.
  • Article 5 defines a few expressions used throughout the law: publishing, transmission, retransmission, distribution, communication to public, reproduction, counterfeiting, kinds of work, phonogram, editor, productor, radiodifusion (broadcasting), interpreters.
  • Article 7 defines the kind of work protected by the law, and lists examples.
    Article 7. Constitute intellectual work, and shall be protected by this law, any king of creations of spirit, expressed by any means, tangible or intangible, already known or to be invented, such as:
    I - text of literaly, artistic or scientific works
    II - speeches, conferences and others of the same nature
    III - dramatic and music-dramatic work
    IV - coreographic and pantomimic work
    V - music compositions, with or withou lyrics
    VI - audiovisual work, with or without sound, including cinematographic
    VII - photographies, and any other similar
    VIII - drawings, paintings, gravures, sculptures, litography and cinetic art
    IX - geographical illustrations, charts and others of the same nature
    X - designs, sketches and similars concerning geography, engineering, topography, architecture, cenography and science
    XI - adaptations, translations and other transformations of original work
    XII - the computer programs
    XIII - compilations, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases and other works which, in face of the selection, organization or disposition of their contents, constitute a new intellectual creation
    Paragraph 1. The computer programs will be subject of specific legislation, observed the articles of this law which are applicable
    Paragraph 2. The protection granted by item XIII does not comprehend the contents by themselves
    Paragraph 3. In scientific works, the protection will cover literary or artistic works, not the technical or scientific content

  • Article 8 mentions what is not protected by this law. Differently from Art. 7, which exemplifies what is protected, the Art. 8 brings an exhaustive list of items.
    Article 8. This law shall not protect the following:
    I - mathematic ideas, methods and similars
    II - schemes, planning or rules to realize mental acts, games or business
    III - blank forms, and the respective filling instructions
    IV - the texts of treaties, conventions, laws, decrees, judicial sentences and other official acts
    V - information of common use, such as calendars, agendas, etc
    VI - names and titles, when by themselves
    VII - industrial or commercial use of ideas contained in other works

    So, documents produced by the government are not subject to this law.
  • Articles 11 - 17 define who is author (in individual and collective works) and who is not author.
  • Articles 18 - 21: The protection to the rights of authorship do not depend on registration; so wishing, the author may register his/her work with the public body defined by Law nr. 5,988.
  • Rights of authorship. The law defined two kinds of rights: moral rights and material rights (material rights were called rights of asset).
  • Articles 24 - 27 - Moral rights. Examples: right to claim authorship; to have his/her name associated with the works; to stop publishing, when there is damage to reputation or image.
    Some of the moral rights are heired by the successor, but some are not.
  • Articles 28 - 45 Material rights. Depend upon previous and express authorization of the author the utilization of their work by any means.
    Art. 36. Texts published by the press belong to the editors, except when undersigned by the author himself. Notice that Art. 46 (below) puts some limitations to these rights.
  • Art. 41 - The material rights of authorship are valid for seventy years, counted from January 1st of the first year after the death of the author; the civil law determines the order of succession. If there is more than one author, time is counted after the death of the longest living co-author.
    Art. 44 - Audiovisual and photographic works are protected also during seventy years, but counted from January 1st of the first year after the publishing of the works.
    Art. 45 - If the author has no successors, the work becomes of public domain.
  • Articles 46 - 48 Limitations to the rights of authorship.
    Certain acts do not constitute infraction to rights of authorship. Such is the case, for example (item I, letter a), of "reproduction, in daily or periodic media, of news or informative article, previously published in other daily or periodic media, provided there is identification of the original author and the original publisher"; some articles published at are covered by this article.
    Other acts which are not considered infractions: publishing of public speeches; reproduction of short stretches of work by other authors, if there is no intention of profit; quotations or citations of other work.
  • Articles 49 - 52 . Transmission of rights.
  • Articles 53 - 67. Utilization of intellectual work. Establishes rights of author and duties of publishers. Of course, the contracts will detail (without overrule the law) rights and obligations.
  • Articles 68 - 76. Public presentations.
  • Articles 77 - 88. Establishes specific determinations for use of artistic pieces (arts.77-78), photographies (art.79), phonograms (art.80), audiovisual pieces (81-86), databases (art.87), collective works (art.88).
  • Articles 89 - 100. The rights of connected parties. Connected parties are those which, not being the author, have vested interested in the intellectual work. For examples, singers have rights on the songs they interpret (even if they are not authors of the song); also, producers of CDs have rights on the songs published.
  • Articles 101 - 110. Penalties for infractors of the law.
    Some of the sanctions determined by this law: the author may demand the aprehension of fraudulent copies (art.102); the aprehended issues are lost, and all revenues generated by previous sales revert to the author (if the number of fraudulent issues sold is unknown, the infractor will pay the amount equivalent to three thousand issues - art.103); whoever sells, stocks, distributes or otherwise contributes with the fraud with intention of profiting will be considered solidaire infractor (art.104); removing or altering copyright protection devices (such as seals, stamps, etc) is an infraction punished with the same penalties (art. 107)

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