Russian Minister of Culture tells about new federal draft law to counter internet piracy

Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Olga Lyubimova speaking at SPBLF 9 ½ stated that during the struggle against COVID-19 one should remain mindful of providing legal support to culture and, most importantly, in the domain of copyright protection.

“Our immediate goal now is to strike the right balance between the internet content consumers and the public regulation. This problem is particularly acute for the film industry, it manifests itself as internet piracy,” she specified.

 Olga Lyubimova reported that the Ministry of Culture of Russia has designed a federal draft law that prohibits recording in cinema theatres irrespective of the purpose. “In other words, there will be no need any more to prove that video recording was conducted to make a profit in order to bring an offender to account. We believe that further improvement of anti-piracy legislation should go along the lines of changing the very approach towards content-blocking measures. We deem it appropriate not merely to tighten the existing regime, but to review the system of copyright protection altogether,” said the Minister.

She also reminded that Russia has achieved 3 key outcomes on counter-piracy track since 2013: a possibility to block illegal content by court ruling or extrajudicially, to block a website for repeated posting of illicit content by court ruling and eliminate pirate websites’ mirrors from search results.

Special Representative of Russian President on International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvidkoy talked about developing culture online. He also touched upon copyright. “In the past month and a half everybody has been handing over their copyright for free because of the pandemic. It is a mission of sorts. At a recent pop star concert lead by Elton John broadcast at all global platforms no one charged for that. But it is obvious that it will be over in 3 months and everyone will want to come back to the issue of virtual IP rights. This is a significant topic, as Bill Gates once said that “law ends where internet begins”, and this is true,” he said.

In a similar vein Mikhail Shvidkoy underlined that introduction to culture that is now quite extensive because art is going digital is not solely an artistic and creative mission, but rather an important social mission. “People have a lot to explore: A great deal of content has been amassed in all these years and today you may get it from the New York Metropolitan Museum, from Rio de Janeiro, form the Hermitage, the Tretyakov Gallery. It is a crucial point: people are comfortable in isolation, while an opportunity to connect with culture is psychotherapeutic,” noted the Special Representative of Russian President on International Cultural Cooperation.

Despite the legal difficulties that may arise during the transition to the online world, Mikhail Shvidkoy also discerns the upside. Today the virtual world may help us resolve problems that are unsolvable in real life. These days organising a Russia-US online exhibition featuring major museums would be a piece of cake…The digital world helps us lift a lot of legal issues that are existent in real world, strange as it may appear. It gives rise to new ones, though, but this is another story,” reflected Mikhail Shvidkoy

St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPBILF) 9 ½: RULE OF CORONA is held online from 10th to 12th of April. The virtual discussions are attended by heads of Russian and international public authorities, legal professionals, academia, politicians and mass media. This year’s focus of the Forum is on the legal aspects of public and business life against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.