Executive seeks to amend Penal Code on cybercrimes and intellectual property
15 abril 2019

On March 26, the Executive submitted to the Senate a bill to amend the Penal Code, as foreshadowed by President Mauricio Macri in his annual address to the National Congress. Among other proposed changes, the bill introduces new cybercrimes and violations against intellectual property rights. Review of the bill will begin in the Committee on Justice and Criminal Affairs, with input of experts from across different areas. It looks set to be a lengthy debate.

On cybercrimes, the bill provides for penalties for cyberattacks, data theft, cyberdamage and fraud as well as illegal access to cyberdata. It also includes a section on crimes against intellectual property, which provides for imprisonment of anyone who, without the authorization of the rights-holder, edits, reproduces or duplicates a piece of work or performance or phonogram in order to obtain an economic benefit. The penalty is extended to anyone who offers or exhibits illegal copies. Currently the regulatory framework is established by the Intellectual Property Law.

The bill was prepared by a commission created in February 2017, chaired by Judge Mariano Borinski. Originally scheduled for June 2018, its presentation was hit by a series of delays. The bill’s progress from here will likely be at the mercy of the electoral context and could be overshadowed by the debate over the decriminalization of abortion.

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