[IRP] Call for support - Brazilian civil rights framework in Congress

Marcelo Thompson marcelo.thompson
Tue Aug 7 12:20:38 EEST 2012

Dear All,

As a Brazilian, I could not be prouder of what my colleagues have
accomplished. If you have not heard of Marco Civil by now (what I trust is
highly unlikely), the first thing you may like to learn is that Marco Civil
is the outcome of a truly democratic process, be it in terms of the wealth
of good intentions reflected in it, be it in terms of the range of social
actors that have been able not only to contribute to the final text, which
is common, but to be heard, which is rare indeed.

If I may, I would strongly endorse the plea of my friends from the CTS-FGV
in asking the international community to support Marco Civil.

At the same time, however, I would *also* like to bring to your attention
what I trust to be quite an ink of stain in an otherwise excellent
initiative. The intermediary liability provision, which is explained in the
attachment to be a lucid and balanced set of provisions, may be rather far
from being so. I briefly explain its problems here<https://bitly.com/O6YLdp>.
What the provision may see as lucid is the evasion of more in-depth inquiry
of the kind the EU is conducting now in its consultation on intermediary

The way Marco Civil does so is by simply stating that *there is no such a
thing as intermediary liability *-- except for contempt of court. Whether
this *is* a lucid and balanced solution to such a central problem of
contemporary life, I leave up to colleagues to decide. What I dare say, and
have argued elsewhere <http://ssrn.com/abstract=2101322>, is that, in all
its breadth, this is something internationally unprecedented, which
violates the Brazilian Constitution and Brazil's human rights obligations,
and which will have immediate and pervasive impacts upon Brazilian society,
if not upon the international community altogether.

As the beauty of this process is precisely that it is such an open
consultation, I am sure colleagues in Brazil will wholeheartedly welcome
any views the international community may have on this issue, which is not
any side issue, but one which is central indeed to Marco Civil's reading of
the boundaries of freedom of expression and its relation with other human

Other than that, I wish my colleagues -- and myself! -- every luck tomorrow.

All best wishes,


Marcelo Thompson

Research / Assistant Professor
Deputy Director, LLM (IT&IP)

Faculty of Law
The University of Hong Kong


On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:24 AM, Marilia Maciel <mariliamaciel at gmail.com>wrote:

> On behalf of Joana Varon, from CTS-FGV
> Dear Colleagues,
> Please find attached a letter of support for the Civil Rights Framework
> for Internet in Brazil, drafted in partnership with the following Brazilian
> civil society organizations: Institute of Consumers Defense - IDEC;
> Intervozes and the Center for Technology and Society - CTS/FGV, but with
> growing support from a list of others.
> *Next Wednesday, August 8th, the bill shall be voted at a Special
> Committee of National **Congress*. It would be the first step in the
> creation of a legal text that goes in the opposite direction to the trend of
> criminalization and imposing intermediary liability on the web. As you
> might already know, we had expected it to be voted a month ago, but it did
> not happen due to lack of quorum. And nowadays, though it is the product
> of a highly democratic process, approval of the text is not guaranteed.
> We believe international support can help us put pressure on Congress for
> approval. So, if you agree, I would kindly ask your institution to sign
> this letter. Sorry for not having being able to propose it as a document
> to be edited in partnership, but we are in a rush, as the idea is to have a
> version with institutional signatures of international civil society
> organizations by tomorrow to deliver it to the Special Commission on *
> Wednesday*. Signatures can be sent directly to my email (*
> joana at varonferraz.com*), preferably indicating the link to the website of
> the supporting institution.
> ps. sorry for any eventual cross-posting
> Kind regards,
> Joana
> --
> Joana Varon Ferraz
> Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade (CTS-FGV)
> http://direitorio.fgv.br/cts/
>  <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/goog_946507056> www.freenetfilm.org
> @joana_varon
> --
> Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade
> FGV Direito Rio
> Center for Technology and Society
> Getulio Vargas Foundation
> Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
> _______________________________________________
> IRP mailing list
> IRP at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
> http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/listinfo.cgi/irp-internetrightsandprinciples.org
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