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Russian movie studio Lenfilm will not get the rights in movies at no cost

Russian Ministry of Finance (MinFin) is of opinion that the Medinsky’s idea to help LenFilm and Gorky studio to regain at no cost the “lost copyright” in movies made by these studios is unjustified. The Russian federal agency on state property management (RussianProperty) and Russian ministry of economic development (Minekonomrazvitiya) are of the same opinions.

Last year Russian minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky has sent a letter to Russian prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medinsky wanted to help studios with money. Copyright should provide them with annual royalties, perhaps as it has been suggested. But it is not so simple with copyright. If someone should receive it, so someone should lose it.

“Russian state movies fund (Gosfilmofond) at this moment does not uphold the transfer of rights in audio-visual works. Gosfilmofond believes it will entail worsening of financial conditions and will lead to increasing of requirement to fund more from state federal budget. Such position has been upheld by Russian MinFin.” – was stated in RussianProperty.

Representative of first vice-premier stated that MinCult is aware of MinFin’s, Minekonomrazvitie’s and RussianProperty’s agreed opinions. But MinCult denied that it has received negative resolution in relation to copyright for Lenfilm. Lenfilm also did not receive any official decision that request to regain copyright at no cost is unjustified. Gorky studio also did not receive any official documents on this issue.

RussianProperty holds original position. Idea with “lost” copyright is unjustified, but it does not mean “negative conclusion” on MinCult initiative. “We still don’t give any negative conclusions. But we can’t ignore Gosfilmofond’s position and requirements of Russian law. But we are still searching for ways and propose different options in order to make LenFilm studio able to receive profits from rights in films made by this studio in soviet period.” – was stated in RussianProperty.

“The alternative option is transfer of rights under paid licence agreement. Transfer of exclusive rights in audio-visual works, created by these studios before 2002, as share in capital of OJSC “Lenfilm movie studio” and SC “TPO Gorky studio” means that they are disposed as property of Russian Federation. If Russian Federation will retain copyrights in movies as its property, it is possible to transfer these rights under licence agreements between Gosfilmofond and these studios in return of payment.” – believes RussianProperty.