In Brazil, as well as in other countries around the world, theaters are obliged to exhibit a minimum quantity of national audiovisual works. According to Article 55 of Provisional Measure No. 2228/2001, every year the President issues a decree establishing the Screen Quotas for the following year.
In the record of the Extraordinary Appeal (RE) 627432, the Union of Film Exhibition Companies of the State of Rio Grande do Sul questioned the constitutionality of this provision, arguing that the absence of a similar determination to other cultural sectors would be a violation of the principle of isonomy.
According to the presiding judge in the case, Minister Dias Toffoli, the Provisional Measure No. 2228/2001 does not violate the exhibitors’ freedom of initiative, nor the principle of isonomy, it only provides the public with access to local audiovisual production. If, on the one hand, the Screen Quota system imposes a certain restriction, on the other hand, it promotes economic development.
By ten votes to one, the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) understood that the Screen Quotas are constitutional, establishing the following thesis: “The Screen Quota system, which consists in the obligation to exhibit national films in Brazilian theaters, and the administrative penalties resulting from its non-compliance are constitutional”. The opposing vote was from Minister Marco Aurélio, according to whom the imposition of the Screen Quotas could not be done by a Provisional Measure.
STF, during the trial of RE 1070522, has also recognized that a rule that determines the exhibition of a certain percentage of programs produced in the municipality to which broadcasting services have been granted does not violate the Federal Constitution.
Both decisions were analyzed with general repercussion and, consequently, are binding and applicable to similar cases.
More information (in Portuguese) at: http://stf.jus.br/portal/cms/verNoticiaDetalhe.asp?idConteudo=462541