Brazil: Second hearing corrects judgement against a promoter of pay TV piracy

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A Brazilian judge has ruled that Bruno Gustavo, the operator of a YouTube channel called Jorge deJorge, was acting illegally by posting videos that showed its visitors how to steal pay TV programming. The channel had more than 563,000 subscribers, and one of the videos had generated more than 4 million views.

The Brazilian Pay TV Association (ABTA, Associação Brasiliera de Televisão Assinatura) had originally sued in 2017, and in 2018, a judge of the 32nd São Paulo Civil Court ordered Web hosting and Web search engine companies to remove the videos.

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At the time, Mr Gustavo was fined 10,000 Reals (~US$1,700) but was not required to compensate the pay TV companies because the judge “did not believe that those companies’ rights had been infringed.”

A second ruling was made in April 2020 by the 2nd Chamber of Business Law of the Court of Justice in São Paulo, ultimately finding Mr Gustavo guilty of infringing the rights of the pay TV association’s members.  The penalty was 10% of profits, plus five times the original BRL10,000 (BRL 50,000 – about US $8,600) plus 1% per month interest on that fine, plus legal costs.

Read further details via Globo (Translated from Brazilian Portuguese via Google Translate)

Why it matters

While the local legal system had initially fumbled the penalty phase in the first trial by not enforcing the initial BRL10,000 fine against Mr Gustavo, they finally got it right.

The case demonstrates that a persistent effort by a concerned industry association showed strength in numbers; enough to have the court system revisit the case and impose a more thorough judgement.   While the penalty may seem small in US terms, it’s a significant fine against an individual in that local jurisdiction.

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