Amendments to the Federal Copyright Law


Amendments to the Federal Copyright Law

On July 1, 2020 an amendment to the Federal Copyright Law was published in the Official Gazette, which addresses the need to homologate national Intellectual Property legislation with the treaties entered into through the USMCA Agreement.

The following are the main amendments:

  1. The following concepts are incorporated and broadened:
    • Making available-access to works at the place and time of user’s choice;
    • Rights management information-data, notices or codes and general information about works, terms and user conditions of the work attached to the example; and
    • Public communication through wired and wireless means of protected works.

  2. Regarding literary and artistic works- their owners will be able to allow or prohibit their public exhibition by any means or procedure including broadband and internet.

  3. Regarding computer programs, the patrimonial right will include the power to authorize or prohibit public communication of the program, including making the program publically available.

  4. It regulates technological measures for effective protection of copyrights in detail, consisting of any technology, device or component which protects copyrights or which controls access to a work.

  5. It incorporates broad dispositions for intellectual property protection in the digital environment.

  6. It regulates a mechanism for the removal of material in electronic media at the request of a party who considers that the publication of said material causes damage to their intellectual property rights by means of a simple request to the provider. The provider will notify the person who originally uploaded the material, so that if needed, the content may be restored by means of a counter-notice, in which they must prove their ownership or authorization which they possess for that specific use for the removed, eliminated or disabled content or rather, justify its use according to the limitations or exceptions to the rights protected by this law.

    All of the above without any judicial intervention unless a judicial or administrative procedure, a criminal complaint or an alternative dispute resolution mechanism is initiated within a time period not exceeding 15 business days, from the date on which the Online Service Provider informed the person who filed the original notice of the counter-notice.

    Should the complainant insist and file a lawsuit, the content will be removed until the trial is resolved.

  7. It establishes sanctions for those who make false statements through a notice or counter-notice, affecting any interested party when the Online Service Provider has relied on that notice to deny access to the content protected by law or has granted access to the content.

  8. At the time the law becomes effective, the protected works must bear the “International Standard Book Number” (ISBN) in addition to the “All Rights Reserved” legend. Omitting this requirement does not imply the loss of rights.

  9. It increases the amounts for fines and sanctions from the non-authorized use of copyrights, such as:
    • Fines for those who produce, reproduce, manufacture, distribute, import, market, rent, store, transport, offer or make available to the public or those who provide services that avoid effective protection of works.
    • Fines for the Online Service Provider who does not remove or disable access in an expedited manner to the content which has been subject to a notification by the owner of the copyright or related right.

  10. It establishes liability exclusions to internet and media providers, which could involve copyright infringing material, in situations when the providers were not involved or were unaware of the material inclusion but forces them to withdraw it as soon as they become aware or they receive judicial order.

  11. The Institute will be a part of any trial in which an inscription in the Copyright public registry is contested, and the Federal Administrative Court of Justice know of the contentious administrative judgment.

    Some of the measures indicated in the Law will be specified in the regulation, which is expected to be issued in approximately 180 days.

    This amendment is important as it regulates many circumstances which occurred commonly, especially regarding the dissemination of works in electronic media, although it has been accused of promoting the censorship of documents criticizing the government, parodies of politicians, product reviews, among others, and it has also been mentioned that it represents an attack on the right to due process, given the pressure of downloading content and since no proof of ownership is required to download said content.


As a consequence to the amendments to the Federal Copyright Law, and with the end goal of granting greater protection from the advances in technology use, several dispositions of the Federal Criminal Code for Intellectual Property crimes were added.

In light of the new ways and manners of illegally accessing content, precise penalties are established for these technological crimes, for those persons who: without having a right receive or distribute an originally encrypted program satellite signal, knowing that it was decoded without the proper authorization of the legal distributor of the signal; manufacture or distribute equipment intended for receiving encrypted cable signal programs, without proper authorization by the legitimate distributor of said signal; or receive or assist another to receive an encrypted cable signal program without the proper authorization by the legitimate distributor of that signal.

Similarly, penalties are expressly established to avoid "camcording" activity, against whomever records, transmits or makes a copy of a protected cinematographic work, whether partial or entire , exhibited in a movie theater or the like, without the proper authorization of the owner of the copyright or related rights. This crime must be prosecuted at the request of a party and not ex-officio.

Finally, in order to provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumventing of effective technological measures which authors, interpreters or performers and producers of phonograms use in connection with the exercising of their rights, various provisions were added.

In this context, we praise that needed amendments have been made in criminal legislation for providing full protection to the holders of said rights, which greatly impact the economic development for Mexico.

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