April 24, 2014

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“E agora José?” The current status of Marco Civil da Internet

I hope non-Brazilian readers will forgive me, but I could not find a better expression to summarize the current situation of the Brazilian Marco Civil da Internet. “E agora, José?” The expression can be translated into English as “What now, José?”, and is quite popular in Brazil, having its origin in a famous poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987). Although it might carry different meanings, this expression is mainly used in hard times, when people are challenged by a situation in which desirable or ideal solutions just seem impossible. When puzzled by a conundrum, one might say: “E agora, José?”.

Here I will try to explain why I do think that the Marco Civil is facing such a situation. [Read more...]

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Digital radio broadcasting in Brazil, a technopolitical struggle.

On the last week of November/2013 the second edition of ESC took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ESC is the acronym to “Espectro, Sociedade e Comunicação” (Spectrum, Society and Communication); as the name suggests people in this meeting discussed a fair use of the Radio spectrum in order to empower society by the use of a multiple and free mean of communication: the digital radio broadcasting.

Yes, the radio broadcasting is still important in many ways and not only in Brazil. At least since Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) wrote “Radio as a means of communication” in 1932 there is a struggle related to the right to speak trough the radio waves. Communitarian and unlicensed free radios have been trying to survive despite the efforts from big communication groups to take them down. The radio spectrum scarcity has always been used as technical excuse to keep the communication power concentrated in fewer hands.

But now this picture can be changed in Brazil. [Read more...]