Colombia – A Place Where You Could Be Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for Plagiarism: A Crime That Does Not Exist!
Journal of Intellectual Property Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1, April 2017
12 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 17, 2017
Colombian copyright law does not expressly incorporate plagiarism as a crime. Nonetheless, Colombian courts have proclaimed plagiarism to be an act worthy of incarceration. Colombian copyright law protects moral rights of the author as human rights. In this regard, moral rights enjoy special protection that economic rights, for instance, do not have. Somewhat counter-intuitively, protecting moral rights as human rights, without set boundaries, may unbalance the copyright system and even violate other human rights, which is the case in Colombia. First, this Article describes the special protection of moral rights as a guaranteed human right under Colombian law. Second, it explains the Sentencia de Casación No. 31403 from 2010, a case law sentencing a professor to jail term for plagiarism. Finally, this Article analyses the said case law and concludes that the protection of moral rights as human rights in the terms established by the Colombian Supreme Court may unbalance the copyright system and violate other human rights.
Keywords: Colombia, Copyright Law, Plagiarism, Criminal Law
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