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Liability for Copyright and Neighboring Rights Infringement

Protection of the copyright and neighboring rights is one of the most complicated ways of law enforcement. This is because the occurrence, implementation and protection of copyright and neighboring rights do not require registration or compliance with any formality. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to prove the infringement of copyright and neighboring rights.

In accordance with the current legislation the actions which have entailed infringement of copyright and neighboring rights entail civil, administrative and criminal liability.

Civil Liability

According to article 1252 of the Civil code of the Russian Federation the protection of exclusive rights for the results of intellectual activity is carried out, in particular, to stop the infringement and to claim damages. Such requirements are applied to the person who illegally used the result of intellectual activity without an agreement with the patentee or otherwise violated his exclusive right and caused him damage.

Civil Liability for the Copyright Infringement

In accordance with article 1301 of the Civil code of the Russian Federation in cases of infringement of the exclusive rights on an artwork the author or other right holders, along with usage of other applicable methods of protection and measures of liability established by the present Code (articles 1250, 1252 and 1253), have the right in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 1252 of the present Code to claim by his opinion from the infringer the following instead of remuneration for damages payment of compensation:

  • he amount from 10 000 till 5 000 000 ₽ is established by Court
  • The amount of double price of works copies or double price of right of works usage defined by the price which usually is charged for legal usage of the artwork under comparable circumstances.

The court may arrest all copies of the artwork in respect of which it is assumed that they are counterfeit and also on materials and equipment used or intended for their production or reproduction.

If there is sufficient data about infringement of copyright, bodies of inquiry or investigation have the obligation to take measures to search for and arrest copies of artwork in respect of which it is assumed that they are counterfeit; on materials and equipment used or intended for the production or reproduction of the specified copies of the artwork, including measures for their withdrawal and transfer to safekeeping (in appropriate cases).

Civil Liability for the Neighboring Rights Infringement

In accordance with article 1311 of the Civil code of the Russian Federation in cases of infringement of the exclusive right to object of neighboring rights the owner of the exclusive copyright along using other applicable methods of protection and measures of liability established by the present Code (articles 1250, 1252 and 1253), has the right in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 1252 of the present to Code my claim by his opinion from the infringer the following instead of remuneration for damages payment of compensation:

  • he amount from 10 000 till 5 000 000 ₽ is established by Court.
  • The amount of double price of phonogram copies or double price of right of neighboring rights’ objects usage defined proceeding from the price which usually is charged for legal usage of the work under comparable circumstances.

Administrative Liability

In accordance with paragraph 1 of article 7.12 of the Code on administrative offences of the Russian Federation the import, sale, rental or other illegal usage of copies of artworks or phonograms for the purpose of income extraction in cases if copies of artworks or phonograms are counterfeited under the legislation of the Russian Federation on copyright and neighboring rights or on copies of works or phonograms listed false information about their manufacturers, about places of their manufacture, and also about the owners of copyright and neighboring rights, and equally other violation of copyright and neighboring rights for the purpose of deriving income, except the cases, indicated in part 2 of article 14.33 of this Code, - entails imposition of the following administrative fine:

  • or citizens - in the amount from 1500 ₽ to 2000 ₽ with confiscation of counterfeit copies of artworks and phonograms, as well as materials and equipment used for their reproduction, and other instruments of committing an administrative offense;
  • for official persons - in the amount from 10 000to 20 000 ₽ with confiscation of counterfeit copies of artworks and phonograms, as well as materials and equipment used for their reproduction, and other instruments of committing an administrative offense;
  • for legal entities - in the amount 30 000to 40 000 ₽ with confiscation of counterfeit copies of artworks and phonograms, as well as materials and equipment used for their reproduction, and other instruments of committing an administrative offense;

Criminal Liability

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation also establishes liability for copyright and neighboring rights infringement.

In accordance with article 146 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation appropriation of authorship (plagiarism), if this act caused large damage to the author or other copyright holder, is punishable by a fine in the amount of 200 000 ₽, or the salary, or other income of convicted person for a period up to 18 months, or obligatory works for the period up to 480 hours, or correctional labor up to 1 year, or with arrest for the period up to 6 months.

Illegal use of objects of copyright or neighboring rights, as well as the acquisition, storage, transportation of counterfeit copies of artworks or phonograms meant for sale, committed on a large scale, - shall be punished by a fine up to 200 000 ₽, or the salary, or other income of convicted person for a period up to 18 months, or obligatory works for the period up to 480 hours, or correctional labor not exceeding more than 2 years, or compulsory works for the period up to 2 years, or imprisonment for the same period.

The above-mentioned acts (the illegal use) if they are committed:

  • By group of persons upon a preliminary collusion or by an organized group
  • On an especially large scale
  • By person using his official position

are punished by forced labor for a period not exceeding more than five years, or by imprisonment for period up to six years with a fine in the amount up to 500 000 ₽, or the salary or other income of convicted person for the period of three years or without such fine.