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Russian producer Igor Matvienko claims Russian Authors’ Society does not operate

During the session were discussed some relevant topics. First of all development of National Electronic Library (NEL) has been considered. Authorship of idea to establish such library belongs to three major federal libraries – Russian state library, The national library of Russia and Russian national public library for science and technology). Presidential May edicts have reflected the mission to completely reach full operation of NEL. Then draft of law about development of NEL has been referred to Russian state duma. Now it is prepared to first reading. This draft law specifies NEL purposes, principles of its formation, status of members and users of system, provides rights of access to library resources for citizens. Members of meeting also have discussed issues in intellectual property regulation in Russia. Protection of photo images, determination of royalty rates and equitable distribution of revenues, earned from creative activity, require regulation. It was proposed to form working group, which would define road map for modernisation of intellectual property protection in Russia.

But the most interesting was discussion about Russian Author’s Society. Jachan Pollieva, chief of state duma office, (she is songwriter and many of her songs were released) is indignant at situation when people, having opportunity to protect author’s rights and receiving money for that, don’t think about share due to right holders. In order to develop competition in the field of protection of creator’s rights, state accreditation of CMO must be eliminated. Russian musical producer Igor Matvienko said that operation of Russian author’s society is totally blocked. In other words RAO does not function. Everything is in situation of internal wars. All members of council are called to law enforcement authority for testimony in order to collect all necessary materials and refer them to office of public prosecutor. Embezzlement is really huge, about one billion roubles. Situation is grave. Many authors receive nothing. Bank accounts are arrested. Maybe authors organise strike or will stay without money. Equitable distribution of royalties is necessary and is a must. Also there has been organised association of famous producers and authors representing their interests. They think about current situation with royalty collecting and see two possible ways. First option – all organisations, who collects and distributes royalties, should be given to state because it does not work (collective management) in private hands (but the Russian authors society was created by authors). Second option is demonopolisation of collective rights management in order to make not one CMO, but several and improve competition.

But the Russian Authors’ Society on its website refuted Igor Matvienko’ statement. According to RAO, it operates as usual; royalties are collected and distributed as usual. Information about “all necessary materials referred to office of public prosecutor” is fiction. Information about “billion embezzlement” is also fiction, competent authorities did not ascertain it.