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While the Internet itself stretches across the entire globe, different countries have different laws regarding its use. Internet laws in the United States differ from those in Brazil. If you are planning on doing business in Brazil and are unfamiliar with the laws of cyberspace, it is important you first speak with an attorney so that you don’t inadvertently break any law related to Internet in Brazil.

Internet laws in Brazil cover all forms of communications and services that occur, including e-commerce, electronic transactions, and Internet service providers. For example, if you are running a business with an online sector from an office in Sao Paulo, you will need to make sure your email communication and e-commerce transactions are in line with the laws of the Internet.

While the laws that pertain to the internet differ between different countries, legal issues pertaining to the structure of the internet are generally similar across the board. These issues include competition on the internet, access, security, ISP licensing, discrimination and antitrust.

Legal Issues

If you plan to do business over the Internet in Brazil, you’ll need to be particularly careful about legal issues surrounding the content on the Internet. Some content issues our internet lawyers in Sao Paulo can assist you with:

  • Personal Data - If you are running an e-commerce website, you’ll have access to the personal data of all of your users. This data includes their gender, their birthdays, their credit card numbers, and even their occupation and address. You are not allowed to store or distribute this information. Additionally, whatever you do with the information, it must be made perfectly clear to your users from the start. Breaching internet laws regarding personal data could have serious consequences.
  • Copyright Infringement – It is easy to break copyright laws on the internet. You might even do so accidentally when you take a photo from another website for your website’s homepage, or when you take a quote from another site and put it on your own. Because it is so easy to access copyrighted material on the internet, it doesn’t feel like stealing when you use it. Even if an image or an article doesn’t declare that it is copyrighted, it is. When using images or text for your website that came from another website, be sure to ask permission first or buy rights. The same goes for trademarks.
  • Trade Libel – Also called commercial disparagement, trade libel is something you’ll need to consider when operating any aspect of your business online. It is a type of defamation that claims a business’ products or services are less than satisfactory. It might seem easy to do so when trying to make your business sound superior, but it is illegal and could result in litigation.

Find out the Consequences

The internet in Brazil certainly seems like a place with no consequences. For example, using an image from someone else’s website is easy, but it is actually a very serious crime. If you plan on operating part of your business online in the jurisdiction of Brazilian Internet law, you should first make sure you understand every aspect of internet law in Brazil. If you make a simple mistake, you could owe thousands in court fees and settlement amounts.

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