Mexico

Legal background

Scope and duration of copyright

Does copyright end immediately after the minimum period mandated by the Berne Convention? No
The period is actually longer than that mandated by the Berne Convention. According to the LFDA, the period of protection is the life of the author and 100 years thereafter.
LFDA, Article 29
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights under competition law, for example by imposing compulsory licensing or regulating royalties charged by dominant rights holders? No
There is no provision that contemplates the granting of compulsory licensing in the copyright field. The Federal Competition Law does not include this aspect.
FCL, Article 5
Has a court or tribunal ever limited the exercise of IP rights pursuant to a bill of rights or similar human rights instrument, for example by preventing copyright from being used to stifle protected speech? No
There is not any legal connection between these two concepts.
Can databases of non-original material be reproduced without infringing a copyright or sui generis database right? No
The LFDA provides for the protection of non-original databases for a period of 5 years.
LFDA, Article 108
Are rights holders prohibited from excluding user rights under copyright law? Yes
The Law prevails over contracts, giving the parties the liberty only for specifically contemplated cases.
LFDA, Articles 21, 22, 23, 30, 31, 32, 33
Is computer software excluded from the scope of patentable subject matter?

Freedoms to access and use

By Home UsersIs there any general user right that is based on a set of balancing criteria, such as a "fair use" right? No
However, the LFDA's theory of “fair use” allows the use of brief fragments of works.
LFDA, Articles 148, 149, 150, 151
Is time, space and format shifting allowed (such as ripping music from CD to an MP3 player)? In part
The protection to Works is total, allowing the shifting to other means only to the copyright holder.
LFDA, Article 231, Section III
Can consumers reproduce copyright material for their own use in the original format, for example for backup purposes? In part
The authorization is only provided for software, literary and artistic Works, being limited to only one “backup” copy.
LFDA, Articles 40, 105 Section II, 148 Section IV
Can works be communicated to a limited public (for example, family and friends) without infringing copyright? Yes
The Law does not contain any provision for these cases, even when, in practice, they are tolerated.
LFDA, Article 231, Section I
For EducationMay students copy works for private research or study? Yes
In this scenario, only the reproduction of music is considered.
LFDA, Article 148, Section III
Does any such research and study provision cover distance and online education? No
The Law does not contemplate these cases.
May translations of works be made for educational purposes? Yes
The Law does not include any provisions for these cases. In Mexican law, to citizens in general, everything not prohibited is allowed.
May educators copy works for use in the classroom? Yes
The Law does not include any provisions for these cases. In Mexican law, to citizens in general, everything not prohibited is allowed.
OnlineAre temporary or transient copies, incidental to a lawful use, excepted from copyright? No
The Law does not include any provisions for these cases, due to which they would be considered as infringement.
Does the law exclude or limit the liability of intermediaries such as ISPs for copyright infringements carried out on their network? Yes
They are protected only as long as they may demonstrate not obtaining any profits for the reproduction of works.
Is Internet access free of ISP filtering or monitoring for potential copyright-infringements? Yes
They may provide contents directly, but this does not exempt them from risks.
By content creatorsIs there any protection for consumers who non-commercially remix or mash up copyright works? Yes
It may be done, but without commercial purposes.
LFDA, Article 231
May computer software be reproduced or transformed for the purpose of reverse-engineering interoperable software? In part
It’s possible, as long as the software is not part of a patented product.
LFDA, Article 14, Section II
Is the incidental inclusion of a work in other material permitted? In part
Only as long as it’s a brief fragment.
LFDA, Article 231, Section I
Is there are copyright exception for parody or satire? No
The Law does not include any provisions for these cases.
By the pressIs there a copyright exception for the news of the day? In part
There is, the use of news of the day is allowed, unless there is an express prohibition by the owner.
LFDA, Article 148, Section II and 141, Section IX
May copyright material be reproduced for the purposes of review and criticism? In part
The reproduction of parts of the work is allowed for this purpose.
LFDA, Article 148, Section III
May quotations be used for any purpose? Yes
Whenever fragments of a work are used, the source must be mentioned.
LFDA, Article 148
By LibrariesMay libraries copy works if they cannot reasonably be obtained commercially? Yes
Yes, but neighboring rights must be paid.
LFDA, Article 231, Section I
May librarians copy works for users for the purpose of research or study? Yes
The case is not contemplated. In Mexican law, to citizens in general, everything not prohibited is allowed.
LFDA, Article 231, Section I
Are libraries allowed to make preservation or archive copies of materials in their collections? In part
Yes, but only one “backup” copy.
LFDA, Article 148, Section IV
Can lending libraries operate without incurring public lending rights fees to copyright owners?
By disabled usersIs it permissible to copy or adapt work for the use of those with disabilities? No
The case is not contemplated in mexican law.
In public affairsAre laws excluded from copyright? Yes
Laws may be freely reproduced.
LFDA, Article 14, Section VIII
Are other governmental works either excluded from copyright, or routinely shared under permissive licences? Yes
Rulings, jurisprudence and regulations receive the same treatment as above.
LFDA, Article 14, Section VIII
Are the results of publicly funded research required to be published under an open access licence? No
There is no provision for this, however, if it is governmental research, access to the same is allowed based on the Federal Transparency and Access to Information Law.
Transparency Law, Article 11

Freedoms to share and transfer

Do copyright owners have the right to release their works to the public domain, without any limitation on how those works may be used? No
The case is not contemplated.
Can public domain works be used without the need for any payment or registration of the use?
Does the law make special provision for the legal use of orphaned works? Yes
The free reproduction of an orphaned work is expressly allowed, until the point that a person who proves is the author of the work arises.
LFDA, Article 153
Is parallel importation of copyright works permitted? Yes
According to the Law of Industrial Property, yes, parallel importing is permitted, as well as according to the LFDA.
LFDA, Article 27, Section IV
Are there national programmes or policies to promote the use, production or dissemination of openly-licensed material such as free and open source software or open educational resources? No
There is no official policy in this regard.
Are there national programmes or policies that specify or promote the use of open document formats? No
There is no official policy in this regard.

Administration and enforcement

What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for an individual? 10 years’ imprisonment. FPC, Article 424
What is the maximum penalty for copyright infringement for a corporation? Fine of up to the equivalent to 100,000 U.S. Dollars. LFDA, Article 232, Section I
Is innocent infringement of IP treated differently by the law? Yes
There is this criterion as a factor for the adjustment of penalties.
IPL, Article 214
Is the creation or distribution of devices that can circumvent technological protection measures (TPM) permitted, where such devices can be used for legal purposes? No
It is not allowed. The transgression of electronic protection measures of information is considered as a criminal offense.
Is the use of such devices by consumers or intermediaries permitted in the legal exercise of user rights? No
It is not allowed. The transgression of electronic protection measures of information is considered as a criminal offense.
Does national copyright or consumer protection law require that the effect of TPMs distributed with copyright works be disclosed to consumers? No
There is no provision in this regard. Consumers must only be warned about dangerous uses.
FCPL, Article 40
Are there cases in which the availability of injunctive relief for IP infringement is limited by the law on public policy grounds?
Does the law protect a user's Internet access from being suspended for alleged copyright infringement, except after a hearing in court? Yes
There is no legal provision that contemplates this.
Are criminal sanctions limited to cases of large-scale commercial counterfeiting? No
No. The criminal sanction may also be applied to small-scale cases.
FPC, Article 424
Are damages for copyright infringement limited to the loss sustained, rather than a pre-established or statutory damages award? No
The law provides for a compensation of 40% of the retail sales price of the infringing products.
LFDA, Article 216bis
Is there provision to penalise the wrongful allegation of copyright infringement? In part
Only in the event causes damages to the image of a person or company.
FCC, Article 1916
Is there provision to penalise the obstruction of consumers' exercise of user rights?
Does the patent system allow for pre-grant opposition?

Recent or upcoming changes

Summary of position

Mexico has the dubious distinction of a world record copyright term, having extended it in 2003 from from the life of the author plus seventy-five years to the life of the author plus one hundred years.  On the other hand, Mexico's law lacks some basic limitations and exceptions for consumers, such as those for library and educational use.

Mexico has not assumed express policies on many of the matters concerning access to knowledge. In particular there is not a defined legal position regarding the relationship between copyright and consumer protection and competition regulations.  Copyright law is seen as a measure for the protection of creators, rather than requiring a balance between their interests and those of consumers.

Since Mexico was also first developing country participant in the negotiations for an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), its government's priorities in relation to access to knowledge are troubling, and it is hoped that with the increased public awareness of copyright issues in the wake of recent ACTA negotiations in Mexico, its priorities will be reassessed.

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