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Portugal to Outlaw Creative Commons?


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Country's Socialist Party plans to introduce proposal that would make artist compensation an "inalienable and non-renunciable" right.

Portugal’s Socialist Party appears to be on the verge of introducing legislation that would put economic rights on par with moral rights. Just as one can’t renounce the right to freedom of speech or association here in the US, the proposal would prohibit artists from giving up their right to compensation for their work.

The proposed Law of Private Copying, as announced by the country’s Minister of Culture, calls for a number of “innovations,” including:

Broadening the application of levies on digital devices and media, in addition to analog devices and media, following thus the reality of the technology market, in addition to adopting a wording that guarantees a better adaptation to future technological developments.

Establishment of the indispensable and inalienable nature of the compensation of authors and artists, thereby contributing to a greater and more effective protection for creators and cultural creation

It’s the latter so-called “innovation” that should be the cause for concern. It turns art into a commodity that can’t be freely shared even if the artists chooses to.

The specific text of the legislation reads:

Article 3, point 1 -
The authors have the right to the perception of a compensation equitable for the reproduction of written works, in paper or similar support, for instance microfilm, photocopy, digitalization or other processes of similar nature.

[...]

Article 5 (Inalienability and non-renunciability) –
The equitable compensation of authors, artists, interpreters or executives is inalienable and non-renunciable, being null any other contractual clause in contrary.

It would mean that artists couldn't allow others to freely share or remix their work with attribution even if they wanted to.

How does this benefit artists since artists can freely choose to release content under a Creative Commons license in the first place? Telling artists that they can't give away their work hardly benefits artists any more than it does society.

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