Monday, 29 March 2010

Costa Rica IP Law Reform

Changes in IP Law are the last of the requirements for Costa Rica to enjoy the benefits of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic in the country (named CAFTA).

From past months, the U.S. has imposed certain burdens on Costa Rica (see early blog here) to pressure to accept the measures agreed in the FTA on IP issues.

Last week, the project was approved on first reading by 26 deputies of the 39 present; yet, it must be approved on second reading by the full legislature. Only then, the Executive may sign. The next step is publication in the official Gazette.

The initiative amends Article 25 of Law 8039 (Law on Procedures for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights) and Article 2 of Law 6683 (Law on Copyright and Related Rights). The amendments provide economic penalties and even imprisonment for those imparting musical performances without the respective copyright permissions. According to one newspaper, “... owners of karaoke, musicians, bar owners, restaurants, hotels and entertainment halls that do not pay the copyright in that broadcast music are exposed, besides imprisonment, to economic sanctions which reach 500 basic salaries.”

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