Russian copyright law will apply to news reports

By EDRi · July 29, 2009

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Deutsch: [Russisches Urheberrechtsgesetz wird für Nachrichtenberichte gelten |]

A new modification in the Russian copyright legislation was drafted by the
Government in order to extend the protection to news reports.

The new draft was pushed by the biggest Russian news agencies which were
claiming that other regional and online publications are plagiarizing their
news reports. The law could be submitted to the Russian Parliament in the

The draft presented by the Communications and Press Deputy Minister
Alexander Zharov foresees fines from 10 to 20 000 rubles (approx. 230-460
euros), but also the confiscation of the production as sanctions for
plagiarism for an agency. The plagiating reporter of the agency could also
be fined with 1 – 5 000 rubles (23 – 115 euros). The present draft is still
unclear on how the fines will be applied and under what specific
circumstances the confiscation will be enforced, thus causing critics to say
that the new law could be used to shut up the unwanted voices.

Andrei Richter, head of Moscow’s Media Law and Policy Institute, considered
the law a step forward and commented: “Currently, news agencies have to go
to court and prove that they have suffered financial losses because of the

But other news editors, such as Moscow Post editor Alexei Kozlov were not
too happy. He called the bill “an opportunity to punish a rival media

As a consequence of the financial crisis, the European newspapers and
magazine publishers are also trying to lobby for tougher copyright laws. A
public call to the European Commission in this respect was signed at a
meeting on 26 June in Berlin, convened by the European Publishers’ Council
and the World Association of Newspapers. The letter was based on a German
initiative called the “Hamburg Declaration’ adopted by 149 German
publishers earlier that month.

The letter stated that: “Numerous providers are using the work of authors,
publishers and broadcasters without paying for it. Over the long term, this
threatens the production of high-quality content and the existence of
independent journalism. For this reason, we advocate strongly urgent
improvements in the protection of intellectual property on the Internet.”

The new call is also trying to have the Automated Content Access Protocol
(ACAP), pushed by the publishers industry as the perfect solution to avoid
copying news, imposed by law

ACAP is a meta data standard that aims at specifing how online aggregators
(including search engines) handle a publisher’s work by defining usage by
third parties rights.

Bill Extends Copyright Protection to News (22.07.2009)

European Publishers Call on E.U. to Protect Copyright (9.07.2009)

European publishers want a law to control online news access (10.07.2009)

International publishers demand new intellectual property rights protection
to safeguard the future of journalism (9.07.2009)