The Superior Court of Justice ("STJ" - Brazil's highest Court for non-constitutional matters) recently decided, in a case involving the use of counterfeit software, that damages resulting from violation of copyrights over software shall have a "punitive and pedagogical character". The decision confirms the interpretation that that has been adopted by the STJ in similar cases.
The STJ held that damages equivalent to the price of legitimate licenses of the counterfeit software is not sufficient to cover all losses sustained by the owner of the copyrights over the software. Specifically, the Reporting Justice of the STJ (Nancy Andrighi) stated that "the mere financial compensation is not only conniving to the illicit conduct, but it also stimulates the practice, by making preferable to assume the risk of using the software illegally, because, if caught and prosecuted, the violator would only be required to pay the copyright owner the amount corresponding to regular licenses".
Based on this interpretation, the STJ ordered the defendant to pay plaintiff an amount equivalent to ten times the market value of each of the 19 computer programs at issue.