Gabriel Saldana

Gabriel Saldana

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Last week, the Mexican Senate passed a resolution asking the President not to sign ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. With this resolution, the Mexican Senate is the first in the world to reject this treaty that has been pushed in several countries under different names, such as “Ley Sinde” in Spain and “Ley Lleras” in Colombia and many others. This proposal was approved unanimously by all members of the Senate’s Defense, National Security and Education commissions.

After six months of consultations with the community, industry and authors, the Senate decided to reject ACTA because the treaty could criminalize the transmission of documents, books or songs over the Internet. The Senate committees were concerned that such treatment could impede society’s access to information and culture.


Posted in: Legal News
Tagged: ACTA, Mexico

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In Mexico, a common line of thought is that projects funded with government money must be a public good. However, Mexican copyright laws challenged this perception after the government-funded Enciclomedia project failed due to fuzzy contracts, political conflicts and a lack of infrastructure.

Initially, the goal of Enciclomedia was to incorporate content from several different government educational programs and Microsoft Encarta into an educational multimedia resource for Mexican public schools. After the project closed, an ex-developer on the Enciclomedia team created Encicloabierta, which published the Enciclomedia content online.


Posted in: Technology

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Justia Brasil LogoContinuing and growing our effort to provide legal research tools for people interested in laws and legal issues throughout Latin America, I’d like to introduce Justia Brasil (or “Brazil” para los norteamericanos). This is Justia’s first website in Brasilian Portuguese.


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Justia CubaThe Justia Latinoamerica project seeks to provide legal research tools for persons interested in laws and legal issues throughout Latin America. Today, I want to share with you Justia Cuba, our website that compiles most of Cuba’s legal resources. This project posed some unique challenges in that some of the material was hard to find, Cuban web servers were frequently down, and access to these servers were further constrained by the limited bandwidth connecting Cuba to the outside world.

Justia Cuba Legislation Resources


Posted in: Justia News

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Two months ago, a huge celebration marked the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the policy that allowed the military to treat gays and lesbians differently than heterosexual members of the armed forces. The repeal represented a big win for the LGBT community.


Posted in: Laws

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Last month, President Barack Obama proclaimed January 2011 as National Stalking Awareness Month to raise awareness of stalking and to offer support to stalking victims and survivors. While stalking is a crime in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, many people underestimate its effects and consequences. President Obama acknowledged our heightened awareness of stalking and its prevalence since Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994; however, he noted that such criminal behavior is still often treated as being harmless.

The National Stalking Awareness Month website provides educational material for the public and resources for stalking victims. The website notes that unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a series of acts—a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause him or her fear. Often, stalking behaviors may be understandable only to the stalker and victim, and appear harmless to others not familiar with the situation, making it difficult to recognize, investigate and prosecute.


Posted in: Legal News, Privacy

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A few weeks ago, a friend at Justia celebrated his birthday. And, you know how it goes. There’s a cake involved and everyone sings that special unique song known for that occasion: “Happy Birthday.” Well, it turns out that the Happy Birthday song is copyrighted. So, for any reproduction, one must ask for permission from the copyright holder or pay a licensing fee.

Now that the holidays are coming, I started wondering about the copyright status of several of the popular songs that we hear everywhere we go during the month of December. If you like to take holiday videos and share them with your family and friends on the web, you should be aware that since January 2009, YouTube has been silencing videos with copyrighted music. So, you cannot just add any song to give your video a touch of holiday spirit.


Posted in: Legal News