Pirates will not disappear after Russia's entry into the WTO

Published on November 21, 2006

Pirates will not disappear after Russia's entry into the WTO

    One of the main conditions for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the implementation and implementation of effective protection of copyright and related rights. The story of the Russian site AllofMP3.com , which provides music sales services, according to the United States, is an example of Russia's wrong policy in this direction. The giants of the music recording industry, losing tens of millions of dollars, are demanding that the Russian government take measures to protect their interests and shut down pirates. To the surprise of the "civilized" world, Russia is in no hurry to close the site, and the owners themselves claim that their actions do not violate Russian law.

    The question hung in the air, and it seemed that these events would push Russia away from the dream of joining the WTO for a few more years. But on November 19 the ice broke: the Russian negotiators were able to sign a bilateral agreement with the United States, the absence of which was the only serious obstacle to the world trade club. Now, according to German Gref, Russia will join the WTO in 2007, the Russian newspaper reports .

    Intellectual property rights holders are now in anticipation of a major change. Part IV of the Civil Code of Russia and the Russian-American agreement on the protection of intellectual property should, in theory, protect them from pirates. However, not all so simple.

    Russia's anti-piracy obligations to enter the WTO are spelled out in common phrases, -утверждает газета «Коммерсант». For example, Russia should “regularly” conduct inspections in factories producing CDs and DVDs, or “strengthen the border fight against piracy.” But it does not explain how exactly this should be done. The document contains only two more or less specific anti-piracy measures. The first concerns the factories for the production of optical disks: Russia is obliged to stop leasing space to them at sensitive enterprises, where access by inspection bodies is limited. Now about 10 such factories out of 50 existing in our country work under this scheme. “This measure is a fiction,” said Vadim Uskov, head of the Uskov & Partners law firm. - Only the strictest state control over imported raw materials can affect industrial pirates. All these plants use two imported polycarbonate brands in production. ” The second measure says that Russia by June 1, 2007 should ban the activities of unscrupulous societies in the so-called collective management of authors' rights. Because of a hole in the legislation, they can issue “licenses” for artists' MP3-tracks, with which no agreements are associated. This is what sites like Allofmp3.com are actively using - its US authorities call it "the main pirate site in Russia." However, the head of the Russian branch of the International Federation of Phonogram Producers Igor Pozhitkov says that even now, laws allow you to successfully deal with Internet pirates: "No one just wants to take and deal with crooks - it's hard to say why." Mr. Uskov clarifies: “This is not beneficial for the policemen who are“ protecting ”the pirates. At the negotiations on joining the WTO, they threatened us with a finger, and we pretended that we would effectively fight the pirates. ”

    No agreements with the United States on the protection of intellectual property for domestic audio and video pirates will become a problem. To this, on condition of anonymity, admitted to the “Newspaper”An experienced manufacturer of counterfeit discs selling their goods in the Gorbushkin Dvor shopping center. “This summer, an American commission dealing with intellectual property issues came to Moscow. The day before the arrival of the inspectors, half of the trays at Gorbushka were closed: the signal went from the administration of the complex, it was also not beneficial for her to have problems with the authorities, ”the newspaper’s source said. On the same day that the Americans left, all the tents with the “pirate” started working again. “This is not the administration’s fault - it constantly closes outlets selling illegal goods, but there are too many sellers. Today the lease agreement was terminated with us, and tomorrow we will remove another stall - the owners have long come to terms with this, ”the pirate confesses. In addition, the criminal business always has a "roof" from the authorities. The Gazeta’s interlocutor alludes to the Moscow City Duma deputies, who will always find a way to protect their wards from checking federal officials. He admits that there is only one way to defeat counterfeit dealers - to criminalize, not for production, but for distribution. "Everything else is a meaningless shaking of the air."