And as the music, film and publishing industries struggle to adapt to the challenge of content proliferating on the Internet, Mr. Gil has emerged as a central player in the global search for more flexible forms of distributing artistic works. In the process his twin roles have sometimes generated competing priorities that he has sought to harmonize.
As a creator of music, he is interested in protecting copyrights. But as a government official in a developing country celebrated for the creative pulse of its people, Mr. Gil also wants Brazilians to have unfettered access to new technologies to make and disseminate art, without having to surrender their rights to the large companies that dominate the culture industry.
â€œI think we are moving rapidly toward the obsolescence and eventual disappearance of a single traditional model and its replacement by others that are hybrids,â€ Mr. Gil said in a February interview at his home here in northeast Brazil, one day before the start of Carnival. â€œMy personal view is that digital culture brings with it a new idea of intellectual property, and that this new culture of sharing can and should inform government policies.â€