Communication and Media

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Communication and Media in Brazil

Without any legally binding regulation, all forms of media and communications would be confusing and chaotic. In the United States, agencies, such as the FCC, regulate the content on certain forms of media to protect the public and ensure fair and unbiased broadcasting. If you’re thinking of doing any business in Brazil, you will probably need to do some form of advertising. Therefore, you should make sure you understand Brazilian communications and media law. The system does differ from that of the United States, so it might be confusing to learn on your own. You may benefit from hiring a Brazilian attorney to help you navigate the law, but it is important to first gain an understanding of what the law encompasses. Communications and media law in Brazil include the following types of broadcasts:

  • Radio and Television Broadcasting Companies
  • Satellite Services
  • Cable Operating Companies
  • Telephone
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Print Media
  • Film

Regulation

Clearly, these types of media reach a large audience. Unlike one-on-one communication, it is important that this sector of law is closely monitored so that countless people are not negatively affected. Some issues that could arise in communications and media law include:

  • Ownership – Ownership, as it relates to media law, might refer to a few things. If a company is broadcasting a piece as its own work when it actually belongs to someone else, ownership issues will arise. Additionally, there are laws in place to prevent one media company from owning too many news sources. If all the news comes from one place, there will not be a diverse selection of information and opinions for the general public.
  • Antitrust – Similarly, a single company cannot dominate the media space by eliminating all competition and creating a monopoly. If a single company held all power in the media, it would be dangerous because the public might not get all the information they need to make proper decisions.
  • Acquisitions and Mergers – Communications and media law deals with acquisitions and mergers. When one company buys another, regulations need to be set in place so that the deal is fair. The same is valid for mergers, when one company becomes part of another.
  • Censorship – Without censorship in the media, we could be accidentally exposing our youth to adult content. By the same token, censorship could also be used to hide certain piece of information from the general public. Communications and media law is meant to prevent both scenarios.
  • Copyright Protection – As with any other forums for public information, copyrighted ideas and content need to be protected. If any copyrights are infringed in the media, communications and media law will be enforced.

Understanding the Scenario

If you are from a different country and are looking to do any type of business in Brazil, you could accidentally be caught up in a communications and media problem if you do not understand the laws. It is easy to avoid lawsuits when working in your country of origin, but many laws exist in other countries that are not so intuitive. If you are thinking about doing business in Brazil, be sure to speak with an attorney about communications and media law before signing any contracts that might have to do with media.

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