Arbitration in Copyright Law is rarely used
Issues of a cultural nature, ignorance, and even prejudice explain the rare use, in Brazil, of arbitration as an alternative means to the Judiciary for conflict resolution, specifically in Copyright, pointed out the professor at PUC-RJ (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), Cláudio Lins de Vasconcelos, and the President of the CSD-ABPI (ABPI’s Center for Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Arbitration), Manoel J. Pereira dos Santos. On September 29, both attended the webinar on “Arbitrability of disputes involving copyright” promoted by ABPI’s Arbitration Chamber (CArb) and moderated by Rodrigo Azevedo of the CSD-ABPI.
Cláudio Lins de Vasconcelos explained that, although it is an attractive alternative for conflict resolution, arbitration faces a lack of knowledge of its advantages in the copyright market. Therefore, according to him, a sense of distrust prevails between the parties, making it difficult to use this tool for conflict resolution. Another aspect, he added, is the prevailing view that arbitration is a sophisticated and costly instrument. “There is a certain mutual distrust that does not favor the use of arbitration as a natural option, as it requires a certain maturity and an appreciation for the continuity of relationships,” he commented. “Most agents see the Judiciary as the first and last bastion to look for in the event of a conflict.”
For Manoel J. Pereira dos Santos, in Brazil, there is no incentive to use arbitration in contracts involving copyright, and the most usual path ends up being the Judiciary. In international contracts, on the contrary, the value of the negotiations and the size of the parties involved already give rise to an initial concern that there may be a future conflict, which encourages the use of alternative means of resolving disputes. For the President of the CSD-ABPI, the idea that, in these cases, the Judiciary is cheaper is illusory. “At best, a dispute brought to the Judiciary can take ten years and at worst twenty years, while in arbitration, the problem is resolved in two years,” he compared. “We have to foster a culture of collaborative dispute resolution and not litigation.”
The President of the CSD-ABPI explained that the future of dispute resolution resides in the ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) environment. “We have already implemented this system in ABPI’s CSD, and it has proved to be a faster and cheaper procedure,” he concluded.