International copyright issues is of Federal Jurisdiction

The 7th Chamber of the Federal Court of Appeals (4th Region) decided that the Federal Court has jurisdiction to judge cases on copyright infringement, provided that it is of  transnational nature, i.e., another country is involved. 

This jurisprudence has been created in view of an appeal filed by the Federal prosecutor with the Federal Court of Appeals (4th. Region) against the decision of the 2nd Federal Court of Foz do Iguaçu (State of Paraná), which had declined the responsibility in favor of the State Court on a DVD smuggling case from Paraguay. The material would be later reproduced and sold in Brazil.

The person in charge was caught by the Federal Highway Police in the city of Santa Terezinha de Itaipu (State of Paraná) in October 2010, with 240 DVDs containing copies of works produced and purchased in Paraguay, in a blatant violation of copyrights. 

The Rapporteur of the case in court was Justice Élcio Pinheiro de Castro. He highlighted in his vow that there are several international treaties protecting copyrights signed by Brazil. Some examples of them are the Berne Convention (Switzerland), which deals with the protection of literary and artistic works, among others, and the Inter-American Convention on Copyright in Literary, Scientific and Artistic Works. 

According to Justice Pinheiro de Castro,” once Brazil has affirmed international treaties and included them in its internal ordinance by tutoring copyrights and foreseeing the possibility of  a transnational behavior, the Federal Courts will have the competence to decide.”

The first instance decision had declined the responsibility due to the lack of offense to goods, services and interests of the Country in the case, which, according to Castro, would violate Article 109, V, of the Federal  Constitution. According to this article, it is the Federal Court competence to judge crimes defined in international treaties or conventions. 

Information from the Press Office of the Federal Court of Appeals (4th Region) 

In Consultor Jurídico, on September 26, 2012


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