For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 17 March 2004

WINDS OF CHANGE: PERESTROIKA AND THE RUSSIAN COPYRIGHT SYSTEM

Today the IPKat went to hear Dr Irina Savelieva (White and Savelieva LLP; Deputy Chairman of the Moscow City Bar Association) speak on “Winds of Change: 'Perestroika' of the Russian Copyright System”. Dr Salelieva began with an account of copyright in Russia both before and during the 70 years of Communism. During that period, copyright was viewed initially in terms of social utility; the works of authors such as Checkhov and Turgenev and of composers such as Tchaikowsky and Rimsky-Korsakov were emancipated from copyright protection and turned over for the free use of all. Eventually the Communist state relented and reintroduced, motivated both by the need to enable State-funded publishers to exploit works profitably and by the desire to reward politically acceptable creators.

Dr Salelieva traced the further development of copyright in Russia from accession to the Universal Copyright Convention in 1973, through the clandestine and copyright-free samizdat movement to the heady days of entrepreneurial 21st century Moscow. She explained how institutions such as neighbouring rights and collective rights management, which most Western countries took for granted, are alien to Russian legal traditions .She also reviewed the development of inalienable, unwaivable and perpetual moral rights, together with both the practical and the theoretical difficulties which resulted from the enforcement of such rights. After discussing the socio-political and economic impact of piracy upon the Russian economy and social fabric, Dr Salelieva reviewed the vagaries of World Trade Organization admission policy: while countries such as Armenia had legal systems that were certainly less transparent than that of Russia and were at least as far from TRIPs compliance, those countries had been admitted to the WTO while Russia had not. In Russia’s case there was still no official prospect of an IP owner obtaining ex parte judicial relief; nor could the Customs authorities act ex officio. However, these deficiencies were being addressed either by proposed legislation or by action taken on the part of some of the judges, so presumably TRIPs accession and WTO admission are within Russia’s grasp.

The IPKat was delighted to learn that copyright is such a live issue in Russia today, where some 60% of income generated by copyright exploitation is earned by Russian rights owners.

Some perspectives in Russian copyright issues here, here and here
Play Russian roulette here, here and here
Charlotte russe here and here
TRIPs to Russia here and here

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