Thursday, October 28, 2010

Russia Authorizes Organization to Collect Copyright Duties

Rosokhrankultura, the Russian agency responsible for accrediting IP rights management organizations, authorized the Russian Union of Rights Holders (RSP), an organization headed by prominent film director Nikita Mikhalkov, to collect a special levy on manufacturers and importers of recording equipment and blank recordable media. The levy will apparently apply to CD and DVD recorders, computers, and most mobile phones and cameras, as well as recordable disks, hard disks, flash cards, etc. The levy is expected to be about 1% of the value of applicable goods and will likely generate revenue of about $100 mln. The revenue is supposed to be distributed among writers, performers, and producers of music and film, however the law does not specify exactly to whom the proceeds should be distributed and in what proportions. The distribution may be inconsequential, though, as critics say that the bulk of the funds will likely be consumed by the RSP itself. Indeed, the RSP has suggested that it would only distribute 15% of the collected funds to the IP owners with the rest to be accumulated or spent by the RSP.

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