Russian Publisher Fined USD 250M in Copyright Case

Aug 24 2010 - 11:05

On July 20, 2010, the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled against a leading Russian book publisher AST in a copyright infringement case and ordered it to pay an unprecedented sum of USD 250 million (EUR 197 million) in damages to a smaller Russian publisher Terra.

The Moscow Times reported that Astrel, a subsidiary of AST, infringed on Terra’s copyright by publishing books written by the acclaimed Russian science fiction author Alexander Romanovich Belyayev (1884-1942).

Terra asserted that its claim against AST was based on the Civil Code clause that extends the duration of copyrights for authors who worked during the Second World War to 70 years after their death. Some experts, however, argue the clause cannot be applied retroactively to Belyayev’s writings since it was introduced in 1993, 51 years after his death.

AST is reportedly planning to appeal the decision, claiming that Belyayev’s works entered the public domain in 1992, 50 years after his death.

For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: The Moscow Times

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