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Russian Media-Communication Union proposes eliminate synchronisation licencing

Russian Media-Communication Union (MCU) developed draft law aiming to exclude standard way for right holders to get royalty for use of their music in TV and movies (synchronisation licencing). Copy of this draft law has obtained Vedomosti. Industry is discussing this legislative initiative. Actually it was made in response to Russian state accreditation. If you can’t beat it – eliminate it. This proposition is of “preliminary character”.

Among the members of MCU you can find Russian communication operators “Rostelecom”, “Megafon”, “Vimpelcom” (Beeline brand), “Russian Mobile Systems” (MTS brand), “Er-telecom”, “Transtelekom”, and also media companies – STS Media, “Gazprom-media”, “National media group”. It seems some of the users, who should take such licences, decided to escape obligation to clear the certain type of rights in music in order to make their business little easy. This idea is not new. It was made public at the forum “Internet economy” last December. It is like a proposition for reforming of collective rights management in Russia. This proposition also aims to abolish non-contractual collective management (except private copying levy), to preclude opportunity for monopoly in the field of collective rights management, to create state registry of copyrighted works.

Russian Authors society, collecting synchronisation royalties under state accreditation (for authors who have concluded membership agreements and who have not) called this initiative an “example of blatant infringement of authors’ rights”, an endeavour to deprive “legal” remuneration of authors.

Sergey Selyanov, founder of his company STV and chairman of Association of movie and TV producers believes cinematography develops in an American way; author of music for Russian film receives good remuneration at the production stage. “Therefore producers and cinemas believe royalties, payable to collecting societies, must be drastically reduced or abolished at all”. Musicians and right holders are not agree and happy with initiative. But MCU insists this draft protects interests of right holders, improves transparency of collective rights management.