Reports: Russia essentially legalizes piracy, lowers royalties to zero

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Reports from multiple sources indicate that Russia may be moving to legalize piracy to keep money within its economy in the face of economic sanctions by governments and companies that are pulling out of the country in response to its Ukraine war.

Quotes from three reports (Click the colored source names to read the original sources)

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“Russia is reportedly easing its copyright laws to offset sanctions imposed by Western nations in response to its invasion of Ukraine – in doing so it is effectively legalizing piracy of games, movies, TV shows, and more.” – IGN

“Russian citizens will be able to pirate movies without needing to fear any kind of legal repercussions, and this would extend to other forms of entertainment as well, like video games and TV shows.” –

“The reports come after Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development last week told reporters that it was considering lifting IP rules to counter sanctions, with a view to encouraging Russian producers to manufacture certain goods.

“The possibility of lifting restrictions on the use of intellectual property contained in certain goods, the supply of which to Russia is limited, is being considered,” the Ministry said to Russian news agency Tass. – City AM

Edit: According to a June 2022 bulletin by IP Policy and International Affairs, “On March 6, 2022, Russia amended its compulsory license regime by lowering the compensatory royalty rate owed to patent holders to 0.0% of proceeds earned from the sale of the patented products. Prior to this decree, the compensation rate had been set at 0.5% of such proceeds. The zero-percent compensation rate applies to compulsory licenses issued in the interests of ‘national security.'”

Why it matters

Creative professionals, rights holders, distributors and consumers in general should revisit the security measures they take against online fraud, identity and financial theft, the theft of their intellectual property, and the abuse of rights that they have as licencees of software and content.

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