Russian ministry of communication proposes to abolish licensing for reproduction of video, software and music on any material medium

When the mediums like CD or DVD were in demand and in order to prevent illegal distribution of movies, software and music on mediums and to comply with international copyright obligations the Russian legislators have introduced licensing procedure for those who want to manufacture and release content on such mediums like CD or DVD.

This measure did not help too much – the customers could find many opportunities to buy CD or DVD at the price much lower than the standard price of licensed medium. However the current law provides liability for manufacturing and distribution of mediums with unlicensed content. The Russian ministry of communication (MinCom) has proposed draft law aimed to abolish licensing for reproduction of video, software and music on any material medium. The rationale of draft law is simple – physical mediums are not popular or in demand in Russian market, the MinCom believes.

The licensing aimed to fight with counterfeited mediums, now it is not so topical. Currently almost all content can be found in internet. Therefore there is no rationale for strict control over manufacturing of mediums with content in industrial scale the governmental legislative commission believes. Thanks to internet the sales of DVDs with movies has decreased drastically. The same situation is with music. Currently there are only two issued licenses in Russia, and there are only 82 valid licenses in registry. The most licenses have been issued to small enterprises. In other words it seems the right holders in Russia are not interested at all in physical mediums.

The licensing has been introduced in order to fight counterfeiting, till now such measure has completed its task. The main channel of content distribution is internet. The licensing for reproduction of content on physical mediums is not effective measure anymore the commission believes. Abolishing of such licensing would not entail any harm for right holders. The purpose of draft law is “to update the current Russian law with respect to emerging social relations in this field”.