Open Unified Registry with Public License

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= the unified registry with public license, to be implemented with the new Brazilian Author’s Rights Law


Jose Murillo:

"Ideas for the new Brazilian Author’s Rights Law The Open Unified Registry with Public License

In this last stage of process for the reform of the Brazilian Author’s Right Law, an important novelty was introduced by Minister Ana de Hollanda. That is a proposal of a unified registry of works, aiming to establish a public database for authorship attribution, to be published as an open data platform.

With the introduction of the unified registry of works as an open platform, there is an opportunity to implement (1) a set of public licenses, and (2) an interoperable metadata model. We could say that, in technical terms, this is a good moment for the development of a public protocol to support integrated and qualified access to knowledge and culture.

Those fundamental elements of the initiative -- the licenses and the metadata model -- are not included in the draft text of the act. Our original proposal (proposed by the Digital Culture Section) includes an open collaborative process to develop the licenses, which aims to incorporate specific aspects of the different sectors (music, video, books, etc.). The main goal is to provide the rights holders the capability of easily defining specific levels of protection, and / or of fostering facilitate access to their works, at the moment of registration, according to their personal disposition.

The platform for unified registry with public licenses is being designed to provide legal safety for authors and for producers seeking to explore new models of digital content distribution. Thus, It will also be possible to generate the needed data for effective analysis of the different licenses and access models, providing valuable information for future investments in digital media applications and services.

A key aspect of the proposal reckons an unified registry database, which is designed for an open use by the society at large scale. As a common asset, it should also comprise a governance model able to facilitate an ongoing dialogue with the sectors directly involved in the use of the data. In this sense, as a way to meet the concept of 'government as a platform’, the responsibility for decisions that affect the functioning of the ecosystem of applications must be shared by its main users. The idea is to propose the creation of a new agency comprising a multi-stakeholder council to represent the myriad of interests related to this (what we would like to call) common pool of data.

This proposal comes as result of an effort to reconcile social gains brought by the democratizing effects of the Internet, optimized by the access to information, with the due respect to author's rights over their works in digital forms over the net. The principle is to integrate legal, technological and institutional elements in order to forge a capable arrangement of easy access to digital collections. It is important for the unified registry platform to enable authorship attribution as a software feature, thus fomenting the emergence of new business models, as well as new provisions for the management of author's rights.

Another principle that oriented the design process of the unified registry with public license was the broadly accepted conclusion that access control to contents is no longer effective, or even possible (or desirable), on the Internet. In this era where contents are the more valued as they gain more visibility, we believe it is important to strengthen, legally and technically, the (1) authorship attribution and (2) the declaration of which rights the authors desire to be respected.

In sum, new applications and services will be able to emerge from the establishment of this legal arrangement / technological model based on 'open data', be it for promotion, be it for monitoring the access to the content, according to the intention of its producers."