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Brazil moves to ‘tropicalise’ IP

17 November 2004

Brazil is the most ‘open source’ nation on earth, reports Wired magazine. Brazil’s government, under President Lula, has dropped its support for Windows and officially backs Linux, the operating system created by the open source movement. Drugs multinationals are forced to sell patented drugs on the cheap, or have them manufactured by state labs at a cut rate. And Gilberto Gil, the country’s much-loved, maverick culture minister is aiming to build a national online music archive so that Brazil’s music-loving population can swap, share and use content with the law’s official backing.

Gil stated that this concerns "the margins of Brazilian society getting access to the digital world. The creative impulses of the people getting access to the digital world. The repressed intelligence of the Brazilian poor, of the Brazilian middle class, getting access to this intelligence-empowering tool that is the digital world."

Could this show a possible utopia for the information society?

Wired thinks so. And more importantly, they report that it’s a trend, with other developing countries following suit. India, South Africa and China, together with Brazil, have developed a ‘bloc’ of nations that are effectively resisting the massive swing the world is currently undergoing towards corporate-biased IP laws, which tend to benefit US (and to a lesser extent, European) economic interests.

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