Who is supposed to be free from Russian internet tax?

According to Izvestia, Russian Ministry of Culture proposed “tax remission” for students, pupils, pensioners and people with disabilities. “Tax remissions” could also apply to schools, universities and medical institutions. Telecommunication operators, who must collect “licence fees” from internet users and pay collected sums of money to the accredited collecting society, could independently decide who must pay in a case of use of content in internet. It means, if internet user does not use or download content from or in internet, such user is free from internet tax.

Telecommunication operators are skeptical about implementation and realisation of internet tax idea. In order to create and implement system for analysis of internet traffic very big investment expenditures are necessary – billions of dollars. And who will bear such expenditures? Internet service providers? Besides, required system is not a guarantee for precise information concerning to used or downloaded content. First of all volume of internet traffic is huge and it grows from year to year. It is impossible to completely “sift” all internet traffic. Some part of this traffic is encrypted. Secondly, there are some problems with implementation of “tax remission”. For example, pupils don’t conclude agreement with internet service provider, their parents do it and as a party of agreement on internet access they must pay this “internet tax”. And how internet service provider in such situation can decide who falls under “tax remission” categories and who does not? Head of Russian State University of Intellectual Property believes that “tax remission” will cut the incomes of right holders, but their introduction is wise step. “It is better to receive something from internet, rather than nothing”.