And again about copyright law. But already with a positive. After a whole series of legislative sticks (laws regulating the civil circulation of content on the Web, the anti-piracy law, as well as proposals at the highest level to expand and tighten it), the first carrot for the people appeared in the State Duma. It’s about The question is about the law which frees all the Soviet cultural and scientific heritage from the copyright fetters.
Thus, we have realized another declared goal of the project "It’s time to change copywriting." The bill was introduced by the CPRF faction, State Duma deputies O. Smolin, G. Zyuganov, I. Melnikov, A. Kravets, D. Novikov, S. Reshulsky, V. Bortko and was the result of the work of the "Pirate Party of Russia" and the CPRF working group created to change copyright laws.
(1) Works of science, literature, or art created for public money and made public before and including December 31, 1992, are in the public domain from the moment of making public
2) Reduction of the term of protection for works of science, literature and art created during the Soviet period – they are considered to be in the public domain from the date of expiry of the 25-year period from the date of their publication (creation)
This restores social justice, which had been violated in 1993 by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, which did not provide a regime for free use of works but reduced the space for legal access by retroactively increasing the term of protection for works that had already expired by that time.
It is clear that Currently, Shakhnazarov and other executives of companies that have inherited catalogs of Soviet films, songs, and photo archives from the generous hand of the authorities are now furious. If the law is passed, no doubt a large number of freeloaders who have nothing to do with the creation of works whose rights belong to contemporary post-Soviet labels will surely lose much of the money that stuffed their wallets every year.
The day before yesterday I was on LifeNews, where I debated with a representative of the RAO and Mosfilm about the proposed bill. The position of both, I think, is quite understandable. But I wanted to hear arguments and figures. The Mosfilm’s lawyer refused to give the sums of money from the monopoly use of the Soviet works saying that first you should name the sums of money of pirates from the use of the same works, and from the arguments defending the position that the exclusive rights for the works created in the USSR need to be protected as long as possible I have heard the following:
1. If exclusive rights are abolished, how will they be protected?
I still can’t figure out from whom and why we should protect films like "Arrival of a Train" or "Wedding in Malinovka", music of record company "Melody" or ITAR-TASS photo-archive?
2. Mosfilm spends a lot of money on restoring and digitizing pictures. If Mosfilm loses revenue, who will do it?
I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand, is it really necessary to restore and digitize a painting every year? I assumed it was done once and that was it. Besides, in my opinion it’s obvious that in case the exclusive right to Soviet works is terminated, there will be a lot of craftsmen willing to digitize and restore such works. And even without the crazy budgets that Mosfilm is putting into it.
If the draft law is adopted, any person will be able to freely copy and distribute works (copies of which already exist in large quantities on the Internet) that are under the "public domain" regime without prior permission from the right holder and without payment of remuneration to him. Such persons will also be protected from the threat that they may one day be held civilly, administratively and criminally liable for copyright infringement. In addition, anyone will be able to obtain the legal right to create remixes, mashups, remakes and any other reworking of works based on these works, which is essential in the digital age for the development of new creative forms. Besides, any content-oriented service will be free to sell by any means the display and listening of the works released from the copyright. At the same time, the resulting competition between the content services will only contribute to the improvement of the services themselves, as it is bound to happen in the market.
I suppose intuitively the bill is understandable to many users, but there will probably be those who will say, "Why do we need this law at all? There are plenty of Soviet works online as it is. It is not difficult to find them. This is true. But I want to remember a few of the most striking moments when copyright holders exercised their rights while violating all bounds of reasonableness:
In November 2011, under anti-piracy law #187-FZ Moscow City Court at the request of Mosfilm was blocked one of the largest torrent trackers rutor.org for infringement of exclusive rights to the film "The Caucasian Captive or Shurik’s New Adventures, " made in 1967 by director Gaidai.
In 2010, there is a known case of RAO demanded money from veterans for performing military songs, including "Smuglyanka, " authored by composer A. Novikov and songwriter Yakov Shvedov, both of whom died in 1984.
In 2011, Premier. Putin promised to dissolve the United State Film Collection which managed a large number of exclusive rights to works, after which the works would go into the public domain. However thanks to the efforts of some lobbyists who did not want to lose the income from the distribution of the Soviet cultural heritage, the exclusive rights of the OGK were transferred to the movie studios.
FGUP "Soyuzmultfilm" which considers itself the right holder of all cartoons and famous characters of Soviet cartoons produced at the studio, forbids others to use the cartoons and characters without his permission. During his work, from 1936 to 1991 in the stock of "Soyuzmultfilm" has accumulated about 1, 500 films, in which there are at least 13, 000 characters. And all this wealth, according to representatives of the film studio, can only be fully owned by Soyuzmultfilm. Under current legislation, the income from the use of proprietary copyrights goes to Soyuzmultfilm, which then disposes of the proceeds at its own discretion. At the same time, the authors of the music and the screenwriters-directors (as well as their heirs) of these cartoons/films have no rights under the existing and Soviet law.
That is why the transition of Soviet and scientific cultural heritage to the legal regime of "public domain" is a very important and necessary step proposed by the DPP and supported by the CPRF. I hope that this bill will pass all 3 readings as quickly as the "anti-piracy law" for which the people’s deputies voted by a majority.