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Authors and right holders ask “to stop anarchy in Russian Authors Society”

The group of right holders has written a petition to stop anarchy in Russian Authors Society (RAO). This petition is to be signed electronically by 50000 persons; almost 47 thousands already did it. This petition will be delivered to Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, to his first deputy Igor Shuvalov, to director of Federal Security Service (FSB), to minister of internal affairs, to chairman of investigation committee, to attorney general, to minister of culture, and to members of RAO.

What do right holders want? First of all, petition states that in the field of royalties collection and distribution “unacceptable criminal situation” has evolved and is developing and “RAO case” confirms it. Fedotov is under arrest; but it does not change anything for ordinary members of RAO. There are no positive changes for them. They still don’t have opportunity to manage or participate in operational RAO’s activity.

RAO is still managed by Fedotov’s mother and author’s council, “lured” by mother and her son as “claimants” believe. RAO’s management doesn’t do anything in order to bring an order. There will be no independent audit, special software for proper accounting will be not implemented (but RAO stated not once that it already was implemented and works very good) what precludes transparency in collection and distribution of royalties collected by RAO.

“Claimants” ask to protect RAO from fraudsters (perhaps it is about RAO’s management) who mislead state authorities and individual authors. RAO is monopolist in the field of collective public performance right management under state accreditation (permission if you want). “Claimants” also ask to examine the following information:

  • What reasons and legitimacy served to Fedotov in creation of separate system of royalties collection through the vague organisations and private persons in the place of RAO’s representative offices. The split of collected royalties between Fedotov and them was 50/50, where 50% of collected royalties remained in regions (what is illegal and prohibited by statute) and 50% main RAO’s office took itself (very often without specification of works, the rights exercised therein, and authors, who is entitled to receive collected royalties) in order to deduct administrative expenditure (administrative costs etc.) and remaining sums it distributed among authors.
  • The rest requirement relate to Fedotov’s assets. How he has earned money to buy and exploit them. Nothing interesting.

Petition also require to examine financial activity of RAO since 2000 (when Vera Fedotova, mother of Sergey Fedotov, started to work as chief accountant) – procedures of royalties collection, its distribution and legitimacy of RAO’s expenditures. Petition also asks to check out “unclaimed” royalties. Why such royalties have been deposited in different commercial banks and where are they now? “Claimants” ask to fire Fedotov, his mother (it seems only Krichevsky deserves their credibility), to dissolve authors council and some other things including repeal of RAO state accreditation and grant it to organisation deserving credibility.