Russian copyright law gets tougher

By EDRi · September 13, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

New changes in the Russian copyright law entered into force on 1 September
2006, giving the same legal regime to the electronic documents as to the
traditional ones.

The new provisions were adopted by the Russian Duma in 2004, but their
application was delayed in order to give the online businesses the
possibility to comply with the new provisions. Among the new provisions, one
of the most important is granting the same protection to the works published
online as to the traditional paper-based books, CDs or videos.

The new law tries also to cover a loophole in the previous version that
allowed Russian websites – the most famous being – to sell
music online, even though that had signed licences with agencies that didn’t
have an agreement with the record companies and artists whose music they
were licensing. used this loophole and, after signing agreements to the Russian
Multimedia and Internet Society (ROMS) and the Rightholders Federation for
Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (FAIR), it
started selling music on the Internet for very low fees, even outside
Russia. Actually the website is claiming today 14% of the UK digital music
market. turnover is estimated around 20-25 millions euros.

The new provisions should close this loophole used by and other
websites. The new law also foresees up to 5 years in jail for the copyright
infringement. The entry into force has been seen as a great step forward by
the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, that has started
actions against AllofMP3 starting with February 2005. The approval of the
new law comes in line with the intentions of Russia to join WTO and , in
this respect, they need all the support of the Office of the US Trade
Representative, that has already asked for the closing of the

As in other Eastern European countries, not all experts are convinced that
the law will be actually enforced.

Legal analyst Vadim Uskov pointed out: “Russian laws might be good, but
they are not implemented very well. If usual sellers of counterfeit goods
are not caught on the street, then no one will catch the owners of websites
in the Internet where it is hard to identify them.”

From Internet to Jail (1.09.2006)

Russia gets tough over online copyrights (4.09.2006)

New Russian law targets ( 6.09.2006)

AllofMP3 claims big slice of UK market (15.05.2006)