San Jose Costa Rica [TCRN] – A bill draft presented by Frente Amplio during their previous administration, which seeks to eliminate prison sentences established by the Intellectual Property Law implemented in the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), was approved in first debate in Congress last Wednesday.
An article in elpaiscr.com states that the project was presented by deputy Jose Merino, along with a 10000 signature petition called “Photocopying to study,” which goal is to reform the Intellectual Property Law in order to ensure access to literary works for educational purposes, as well as defend the right of students to photocopy books and materials necessary to study.
This right was seriously threatened by the Costa Rica TLC laws that gave transnational companies excessive control over the business of marketing books, music, and other cultural products, thus affecting small photocopying centers that provide services to educational institutions.
The bill eliminates jail sentences and establishes exceptions to protect students and photocopying centers that make copies for educational purposes. It also protects those who perform in plays, play music or download information for educational purposes.
These reforms are possible because the laws approved in the Costa Rica TLC exceeded the obligations, but more importantly because access to education and culture is a human right established the Constitution, and therefore it has priority over commercial interests.
The bill will be voted in second and final debate this week.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica