José de Oliveira Ascensão - on Copyright Law & The Information Society

photo of Oliveira Ascensão

Prof. José de Oliveira Ascensão was a Portuguese-Brazilian lawyer and academic who for many, many decades was the main academic reference in Portugal concerning Intellectual Law (to use his expression) and, specifically, copyright. 

I knew he was also popular in Brazil, where he worked for many years, but I guess I have been underestimating how widely popular he became there. Which might help to explain such a difference in the copyright culture of both countries – but let's keep that discussion for another time.

He passed away this year, at the age of 89.

Given his influence, GEDAI (Grupo de Estudos de Direito Autoral e Industrial), an IP group from Universidade Federal do Paraná, in Brazil, has compiled and translated into English some of his work from the last years of his academic life. These texts cover subjects like the public domain, fair use, copyright in the information society and in the cyberspace. They might be a bit dated (roughly from 2001-2008), but they are always interesting and super easy to read.

(A great thing I notice from old academic texts is that, precisely because they do not really meet the today's "academic" standards, they are so much more enjoyable to read. One can read them as easily as eating cherries: just one after the other).

I think it is the first time his work is made available in English. Congratulations + thank you, GEDAI, for this.

Free access under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND. The linked article, below, is in Portuguese but the very last link, at the end of the article, is the English version of the e-book.


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