A parliamentary group presents an initiative with a draft decree

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On December 7, 2021, Senators Geovanna del Carmen Bañuelos de la Torre and Cora Cecilia Pinedo Alonso, members of the Partido del Trabajo parliamentary group, presented an initiative with a draft decree to amend Articles 29, 33, 148, 209, 210 and 229 of the Federal Copyright Act (LFDA).

The first provision to be reformed aims to reduce the duration of protection granted by the LFDA to enter, in order to bring Mexican law more into line with international treaties. Although these standards are minimum and Mexico has the power to enforce higher conditions, the 100 years currently established in law seem excessive by international standards.

For this reason, on the grounds that the duration set by article 29 of the LFDA of 100 years after the death of the author is considered excessive, the draft includes a proposal to reduce the duration to 70 years post mortem. The statement of reasons that the current duration exceeds the minimum requirements established by international treaties to which Mexico is a party, where the Berne Convention establishes a minimum duration of 50 years after the death of the author, and the USMCA establishes a minimum term of 70 years post mortem.

Article 33 of the LFDA which, for the purposes of the amendment proposal, deals with the duration of the transfer of economic rights which, according to the current wording, cannot be granted for more than 15 years, when the nature of the works or the scale of the investment required.

The legislator proposed to add that, in the event that the parties wish to agree on a duration longer than 15 years, they must provide evidence justifying the longer duration, at the same time as they request its registration in the public register. copyrights. The National Institute of Copyright (INDAUTOR) would then be responsible for evaluating the information provided and has the power to approve or deny the requested duration.

The current way transfers and registrations are done in Mexico is considered to be working well. leading some to believe that such a reform would be useless and counter-productive, since INDAUTOR does not evaluate, but only records the duration of the mission. To this end, it is implicitly understood that the production of works of all kinds are expensive activities, such as book publishing, artistic productions, musical productions and, above all, the production of audiovisual works. Allowing INDAUTOR to assess the viability of the validity of the transfer of rights in relation to these types of works and to be able to decide what is expensive and what is not can have a negative impact on society and industry. It can simply be considered bureaucratic and pernicious.

Section 148 of the LFDA regulates parody, satire, pastiche, newscasting, and teaching in copyright, as well as the reproduction and making available by libraries, galleries, and museums to for purposes of conservation, research, study or interlibrary loan. The proposed change to section 148 would include an exception for numbers that are considered human and constitutional rights.

The said amendment to sections III and V of the former article, specifies that the works already disclosed may be used, provided that the normal exploitation of the work is not affected, without the authorization of the owner of the economic right and without remuneration, invariably citing the source and without altering the work, in the following cases:

In section III, which stated “Reproduction of parts of the work for scientific, literary or artistic criticism and research”, “commentary, parody, satire, pastiche and dissemination of information and teaching” is added.

In Section V, which stated “Reproduction of a single copy, by an archive or library, for reasons of safety and preservation, and which is out of print and in danger of disappearing”, the supply of copies to the public is included, adding, in addition to libraries, galleries or museums, for purposes of preservation, research, study or interlibrary loan.

Finally, by modifying several articles of the LFDA, such as 209, 210 and 229, INDAUTOR will be granted several powers, such as the power to promote and distribute works that are part of the public domain, as well as to facilitate access by the public to culture “through the limitations of copyright and neighboring rights determined by law, so as to allow access to works for the community in collaboration with public cultural and educational institutions”. They also intend to grant INDAUTOR the power to provide technical advice on copyright to public educational and cultural institutions, in order to facilitate the classification and access to works in the category of the domain. public. Finally, they classify claiming ownership of public domain works as copyright infringement.

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