Copyright Protection
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Copyright Protection in Russia

Copyright protection is one of the central pillars of intellectual property protection operating around the world today. It is fundamentally the most different, as it does not require any specific or compulsory registration to grant a copyright.

Namely, copyright is immediately granted to the author of any works, upon their completion, as long as three simple criteria are fulfilled:

So far, so simple

To qualify for copyright protection in the Russian Federation it must be either authored by a Russian national, first published in Russia, or published in a country which is also party to the same relevant international treaties as Russia, namely, the Berne convention. Works are encompassed but are not exhausted by the list featured in part VI of the Russian Federation civil code.

Most notably this includes literary works (including computer programs), musical pieces with or without lyrics, audio-visual products (feature, television and video films, slideshows, transparency films and other cinematography and television products), paintings, designs, works of architecture, photography works, topography and databases.

How does copyright protection work in practice?

The law of copyright is extensive on paper but is by far the most challenging aspect of intellectual property law protection in practice. The ‘WIPO’ model offers, from the date of creation to the death of the author +70 years protection. Similarly, robust protection is offered for so-called ‘neighbouring rights’ which encompass performances, phonograms and broadcasts and are valid for the lifetime of the performer not less than 50 years.

But, the internet has made the practice of copyright protection very difficult. Where once infringers may have made individual recordings of a friend’s cassette, now anonymous users can, within seconds, access and download digitally copyrighted content at no cost. Weighed heavily in favour of music, film and TV and computer software, media companies are understandably prickly that their property is infringed with such abandon. For this reason, it has become the international battleground of copyright holders, wishing to assert their rights, to only marginal effect.

The internet: copyright holders not welcome here!

There are steps you can take to reinforce your rights and we would be happy to advise your best course of action. We can help take various actions and remedies on your behalf. For example, computer software, topography and database protection is best served by registering with the Russian patent office. This leaves no doubt in the eyes of the law regarding authorship. All other copyright protection can be strengthened by deposition of said works with a competent agency recognised by the courts, one such example being the Russian Authors society. Successful receipt of this will give the depositor a presumption of ownership, evidence which can be used later, in court if necessary to assert rights in any case of infringement or dispute.

The battle is just getting started.

Federal law 187, brought into force in 2013, has offered necessary and faster remedies to online protection for all audiovisual content. Under the new terms, copyright owners may seek a preliminary injunction of up to 15 days against infringing content, without notice. If granted Roskomnadzor will request the content is removed. If there is non-compliance after three days they can block the entire website. This offers a speedy resolution which has previously been lacking in an arena well known for being extremely transitory.

What about the author?

The other unique area concerning copyright is the fact that there is a division of rights, incorporating ‘authors rights’ and ‘economic rights’. These can reside with the same person but often do not. Copyrights created underemployment, for example, would give economic rights to the owner/company, whilst still maintaining the authors ‘moral rights’. These rights are inalienable - even after economic rights are reassigned, authors rights will always remain.

In order to make sure economic rights transfers are certain, we can assist you in drawing up any license, assignment or franchise agreements you may wish to make. This advice is equally relevant to CIS members and foreign copyright holders as the internet does not observe legal borders in the same way that the law does, internet service providers are still liable for content however.

By every means necessary!

We can facilitate any rights owners by engaging in a variety of measures, judicial or otherwise, to prevent illegal use of your rights. This could include submitting notices to the infringing parties, preparing lawsuits to relevant courts or law enforcement bodies for infringement actions. We can also assist in blocking or removing copyrighted content online when discovered. Litigation can be costly but in most cases this is far outstripped by the potential economic loss incurred from copyright ‘piracy.’ With our assistance, strike now in defence of your copyright. Don’t hesitate in engaging with our expert attorneys in Russia.

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Copyrights arise directly from the moment of creation of a work, or a part of it. From that moment, you can use any options to protect your exclusive rights against the unlawful actions of others, including compensation for damages or recovery of financial compensation.

Ways to protect copyrights

Protection of copyright and intellectual property rights is carried out on the basis of the norms of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. The list of available methods of protection is fixed in Art. 1252 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, as well as on the nature of the identified violation, the following options for protecting rights may be used:

In addition, in Russia administrative and criminal protection of the copyright holder is applied - for this purpose it is necessary to prove the occurrence of a large or especially large amount of damage, as well as other signs of an offense.

The choice of one or more protection options is the right of the author or other intellectual property owner. If the right holder or infringer is a business entity (a legal entity or individual entrepreneur), the claim procedure for dispute resolution must be followed before going to court.

The most effective option for protection is to go to court. If the plaintiff seeks to recover damages, he must prove the fact of the offense, as well as calculate the amount of damages. When claiming compensation, the calculation of the amount of damages is not important, and only the fact of copyright infringement has to be proved.

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How copyright and related rights are protected

In order to eliminate the identified violations or to prevent other negative consequences, it is necessary to confirm the existence of copyrights. To do this, the author or other legal owner of the object can use the following methods:

  • certify the creation of a new object through a notary's office;
  • To go through the procedure of depositing a copy of the work with the authorized agencies (for example, through the Russian Copyright Agency);
  • publish (make public) the work with the placement of the legal protection mark;
  • register the rights to a computer program or database through FIPS;
  • to challenge in court the attempt of other persons to appropriate the authorship - in this case the court act will be a proper confirmation of the copyrights.

Even if the author has not used these options to establish rights, he will be able to get them protected. Proof of authorship is possible even when making claims or judicial claims against the infringer. The obligation to prove the absence of guilt is imposed on the offender by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

Protection of rights of subjects of copyright will differ significantly in the presence or absence of the contract, which gives the opportunity to third parties to use the work or other object of intellectual property:

In order to establish the legal protection of copyright and related rights and to properly prove authorship, contact Prof-Patent for assistance. We will provide a full range of services to establish, use or dispose of copyrights and to ensure that the rights of the author or other legal owner are protected.

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The judicial protection procedure

It is possible to achieve elimination of violations and obtain compensation for damages without going to court. For this purpose, a written request for the prohibition of unlawful actions or a claim for damages is sent to the infringer. If the right holder and the guilty person reach an agreement on settling the dispute out of court, all conditions can be agreed in writing.

If the claim (demand) remained unsatisfied, the author or other right holder may apply to the following judicial authorities:

  • the arbitration court system;
  • .
  • the Court of Intellectual Rights;
  • .
  • court of general jurisdiction, if the case is not subject to arbitration, and the parties to the dispute are not legal entities (for example, when considering a claim for payment of remuneration to the author).

The fact of copyright violation is confirmed by written and physical evidence. For example, a statement of claim may be accompanied by materials of criminal and administrative checks, acts of control purchase, payment documents on the purchase of counterfeit goods, etc. If the fact of unauthorized use of someone else's rights has already been confirmed by a criminal conviction or administrative ruling, there is no need to prove it again.

When applying to the court, you can apply for interim measures.

Security is imposed for the entire period of consideration of the case and can be carried out in the following ways:

When filing a claim, the right holder may choose the form of recovery under which liability will be imposed. The Civil Code of the Russian Federation allows recovery of damages in full, or to demand compensation in a fixed amount.

The calculation of damages for copyright infringement must be provided by the plaintiff. For this purpose, information from the agreement on the transfer of exclusive rights, the rights evaluation report, the act on the value of sold copies of counterfeit products and other evidence can be used.

If the plaintiff chooses the monetary compensation option, its amount can be determined in the following ways:

Compensation for moral damages is not used as a means of protecting copyrights, even if the right holder is a private person.

It is advisable to consult with a copyright attorney to select the best option for penalties. The easiest option is to impose a fine in a fixed amount, since the plaintiff does not even need to prove the value of the counterfeit goods sold.

As a result of the judicial act, all copies of tangible media, equipment and materials that were used for illegal activities will be confiscated from the offender. Although the Civil Code of the Russian Federation provides only for the regime of confiscation of these items, the Supreme Court has clarified that the seized copies may be transferred to the right holder as compensation for damages or for their subsequent destruction. For this purpose, the plaintiff must submit a corresponding application to the court.

The listed penalties can be applied for each identified case of violation. In case of repeated violations of copyright, the court will take this into account when determining the amount of the fine in a fixed amount.

Our Services in Russia and abroad

The procedures for establishing and protecting copyrights require a thorough knowledge of the law and the provisions of jurisprudence. To enforce your legal rights and to hold infringers accountable, contact the firm of patent attorneys Prof-Patent for help.

We will provide the following types of services:

All services will be rendered on the basis of a power of attorney, and the client will receive the finished result in the shortest possible time. To clarify the terms of cooperation and prices for the work, please contact our specialists for a consultation. To do this, call the telephone numbers listed on the website or fill in the feedback form.

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