"”Bicho” (Creature), a living organism. "
Lygia Clark


ABL (Brazilian Academy of Letters) opens fire on new law

O Estado de S. Paulo, Caderno 2, 12/08/2010

Marcos Vilaça , president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL), sends a document contrary to modernize the copyright law.

The baling go to war. The president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, Marcos Vilaça, distributed a memo yesterday in which the entity that he presides condemns the proposed revision of the Copyright Act, referred to public debate by the Ministry of Culture (Minc).

"The option to transfer their rights or not a creator should remain with the prerogative of the author, holder of its exclusive intellectual works," said the document sent by ABL to the Ministry of Culture MinC. "True to the primary purpose that guides them - the culture of language and national literature, stony clause of the statutes that govern it - our reflection lies specifically in the context of literary creation," said the ABL, which has 40 authors affiliated . " The "Casa de Machado de Assis" that any radical attempt to change this  relational picture is extremely complex and delicate."

The Ministry of Culture presented for public debate, on June 14, a text that exposes the draft bill that modernizes the Copyright Law (9.610/98) in the country since then, more than 5000 contributions have been made, and the proposal was debated by musicians, unions, associations, visual artists, composers, publishers and writers, among others.

Marcos Souza, Director of Intellectual Rights of the Ministry of Culture, said yesterday that the State received a letter from the ABL and he "agrees 100%" with the demand of the entity, but thinks there may be some kind of misunderstanding of the text. "If it is due to the article providing for the non-voluntary licenses, we understand the concern of the ABL, which has already been expressed by other entities. But this is no strange thing to Copyright, is in the Berne Convention, that Brazil follows, and several countries have this device. Its not something were inventing without parameter. "

Souza admitted that could change the wording of this article. The MINC recognizes that the text may give rise to misinterpretation and should review the wording. Souza said "thank the disposition of the ABL dialogue" and said that it will release response to the academy.

Outside the academy, also began to mobilize around the new project. On Tuesday, at the headquarters of Brazilian Cinema, São Paulo, writers met for the first time with representatives of MinC to assess the proposal of the executive. "The writers need to wake up to this discussion. We are dealing increasingly with large corporations, profitable and highly professionalized. The editor of their work lives. The bookseller of their work lives. Why only the writer is treated as an amateur? "Said the poet Ademir Assunção. Besides him, there were the authors Daniel Galera, Braulio Tavares,  Geraldinho Carneiro and Joca Terron. Marcelino Freire, Lourenço Mutarelli,  Marçal Aquino and others who are following the debate, but not attend the meeting (which was inconclusive - for lack of time, there will be another meeting, although no date).

The demand of the writers is different from booksellers and publishers. They consider that the market has always claimed that the cost of printing, paper and distribution of the book prevent a return greater than 10% royalty. "The author of the stick with only 10%, while 90% goes to those who sell it, it seems very disproportional. With the digital book, these costs do not exist. There is no justification to retain copyright in 10%, "said Assunção.