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Newsletter 2015.12 – Civil Marco Internet

In the trial of Special Appeal # 1.512.647 (decided on the 13th of May and published on the 5th of August), the Superior Court of Justice (in charge of standardizing the jurisprudence in Brazilian Courts) provided some guidance on liability of ISP in case of copyright infringement – an issue that was not codified by the Civil Basis for the Internet (“Marco Civil”). In the case at stake, a video producer filed a lawsuit against Google demanding the removal of several Orkut communities that were offering for sale a range of unauthorized copies of educational videos. The producer also requested the payment of damages. According to the producer, Google failed to remove the Orkut[1] communities after receiving a cease and desist letter, whereas Google alleged that such C&D letter did not inform the URLs of the infringing pages.
 
The Special Appeal was lodged by Google against a decision rendered by the State Court of Appeals of Minas Gerais[2]. This decision ordered the company (i) to pay damages to the producer in an amount to be fixed by an Expert or, in case that was not feasible, in accordance with article 103 of Brazilian Copyright Act[3]; and (ii) to remove the infringing pages. In brief, Google alleged that the company company could not comply with the Court order, as the producer did not inform the URLs of the infringing pages. Moreover, the company argued that it was a case of subjective liability and Goggle did not perform any activity that was deemed as copyright infringement.
 
Although this case happened before the Civil Basis for the Internet entered in force, the Reporting Justice Luís Felipe Salomão understood that it was desirable to render a decision that was in line with the principles enshrined by that Act. Therefore, he confirmed that it was a case of subjective liability, and underlined that, since the matter was not codified by the Civil Basis for the Internet, the Brazilian Copyright Act applies.
 


[1] A social network that was owned by Google.
[2] A State in Southeast Brazil.
[3] That establishes a presumption of selling of 3,000 (three thousand) infringing copies.
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