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Russia Amends its Copyright Law

October 22, 2004

Copyright law amendments bring Russia’s IP legislation in line with its Constitution, as well as with various international agreements.

A number of amendments to the Russian Federal Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights were recently adopted in order to bring the Intellectual Property legislation of Russia in line with its Constitution, as well as with various international agreements such as the Berne Convention, TRIPS, WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

The amendments entered into force on July 28, 2004, with the exception of those articles that relate to the right of making the copyright work available to the public via the Internet, which are expected to enter into force on September 1, 2006.

One of the most important amendments is the extension of the term of copyright protection. The present law extends the former maximum term of the copyright from the life of the author plus 50 years to the life of the author plus 70 years. Foreign authors will now enjoy the same term of protection in Russia as they enjoy in their own country.

In addition, the new amendments improve and strengthen the remedies for copyright infringement. Copyright holders will now be able to demand higher compensation, from approximately 340 USD to 170,000 USD, instead of seeking damages, which are generally very difficult to determine.

The new Law also prohibits actions aiming at the circumvention of technical copy protection systems and devices.

For more information on the changes to the Russian copyright law, please contact our Russia representative.

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