The United States has traditionally used trade policy to pursue stringent intellectual property (IP) regulation in developing countries. In recent years, this strategy has been enhanced by means of the US Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) –bilateral or regional instruments to set international trade policy. These FTAs are being used to export US online copyright enforcement mechanisms, primarily through the copyright protections embodied in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The US-Colombia FTA, which was signed in 2006 and came into effect in 2012, has required Colombia to implement the copyright protections and regulations contained within the DMCA and in 2011, Colombia presented its version of the DMCA—the Ley Lleras.
Though the Karisma Foundation has worked to stop the various attempts to pass and implement the Ley Lleras, the fact that a reform of Colombia’s copyright regulations is part of the country’s FTA obligations means it will likely be on the agenda again. The Karisma Foundation is working to increase awareness of this issue and to incite Colombian citizens to begin to discuss a copyright enforcement framework that will ensure the Web remains free and open. The Karisma Foundation can influence, to a certain extent, a public policy discussion between policymakers and civil society, especially one that takes into account the concerns of the citizens at large regarding the use of protected materials on the Internet.
The Karisma Foundation is producing a video that speaks to the need for a copyright reform law that will take into consideration cultural and educational rights. A launch party in September 2014 will feature a showing of this video and will use the opportunity to ask Colombians about the Web they want and to support efforts to develop copyright regulations that respect this vision. Read more about RedPaTodos & Karisma Foundation.
Contact: María Juliana Soto (firstname.lastname@example.org)