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Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice defines the statute of limitation for claiming damages in case of violation of author’s moral rights.

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) granted the appeal filed by the record company Sony Music Brasil, recognizing the statute of limitations for claiming damages in case of unauthorized use of photographs1.

The Rio de Janeiro Civil Court had initially granted the plaintiff’s request, and concluded that the statute of limitations does not apply to author’s moral rights. Sony Music appealed to the STJ, arguing that the three-year limitation period provided in the Civil Code should be applied to the case.

STJ agreed with the plaintiff, but concluded that, although there is no time limitation to claim a violation of author’s moral rights, the damages resulting from such violation is subject to a three-year limitation period.

According to the Reporter Justice Paulo de Tarso Sanseverino, “There is no time limitation for the author’s claim to have his paternity recognized, nor to preserve the integrity of his work, for example. However, the compensation for damages resulting from the violation of these moral rights constitutes civil reparation and, as such, is subject to the limitation period provided for in article 206, paragraph 3, item V, of the Civil Code“, therefore,”the statute of limitations has lapsed, as the claim was filed only in 2011”.

More information available in Portuguese at:

1Special Appeal No. 1862910