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Mexico - Copyright Law Amended

The Mexican Copyright law was amended with effect from July 24, 2003. The following are some of the more significant changes:

1. The normal term for which the economic benefits of copyright protection can be obtained has been extended from the life of the author plus seventy-five years to the life of the author plus one hundred years. The duration of performer’s rights protection has been extended from forty-five years to seventy-five years. The duration of protection for producers of phonograms is extended from fifty years from the date of fixation of the sounds to seventy-five years and the term of protection for reproduction of a radio broadcast is extended form twenty-five years to fifty years.

2. The rights of the author in an original work to control the exploitation of a derivative work have been improved.

3. Performer’s and creator’s rights in musical works have been improved so that, even though copyright may be owned by a third party that commissioned the work, the creators and performers will have a right to a royalty if the work is reproduced or performed in public.

4. Photographs have been added to the types of work (previously pictures, sculptures and graphic works) for which a license to use the work does not extend to commercial advertising purposes unless the license makes specific mention of the use of the work for such activities.

5. A resale right (droit de suite) has been introduced so that the author of a painting, sculpture, photograph or original manuscript will be entitled to payment upon the commercial resale of such a work of art. No specific formula for calculating the amount of the payment is set out in the statute. However, it is provided that the Mexican Copyright Office shall determine the amount of the payment, taking into account the practices in the industry and the amounts paid under droit de suite laws in other countries.

6. Two changes have been effected with respect to copyright litigation that effectively reverse changes that were made in 1996 and revert to something similar to the former law. The first of these is to reinstate the jurisdiction of the federal courts to hear copyright disputes between private litigants. The second is to reintroduce a minimum damages award for copyright infringement. The amount is set at forty percent of the last sale price of each infringing product. When this cannot be determined, damages are to be determined by a court-appointed expert

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© Copyright 2004 Ladas & Parry - Posted 3/21/2004
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