In fight to protect rightsholders Russia may prohibit copying and photography of print media in stores
Currently in Russia there is an initiative to revise or abolish laws which negatively impact the business and regulatory environment. As part of this, the Russian Ministry for Industry and Trade has been examining Intellectual Property rights.
A draft government decree related to the rules for the sale of goods under a retail sale agreement says that it is unacceptable to copy and take pictures of books, non-periodical print media (brochures, albums, cartographic and printed music editions, loose-leaf art editions, calendars, booklets, editions reproduced on technical media) on the premises of shopping facilities before the purchase of these editions.
According to the explanatory notes of the draft it has been introduced due in part to the developments in photographic technology and to protect rights of booksellers and other non-periodical print media. It is assumed that this measure can also protect the rightsholders like publishers to prevent unauthorised copying and distribution of copyrighted materials
This new document should replace the canceled decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of January 19, 1998 № 55 “On approval of the Rules for the sale of certain types of goods, the list of durable goods that are not subject to the buyer's requirement to provide him with a free provision of similar goods for the period of repair or replacement, and a list of non-food goods of good quality that are not subject to return or exchange for similar goods of other sizes, shapes, size, style, colour or configuration”.
Currently the draft is subject to public discussion and an anti-corruption assessment which should be completed by 22 September.
At the same time there are vital questions in relation to the implementation and responsibility of the mechanism. In particular, who will bring actions against infringers and how? An ordinary seller who has noticed a potential customer is taking a picture of a book or other relevant, has no enforcement powers, and by the time police would (probably) come, the infringer will be gone.
Currently it seems, this proposed change will require further examination as well as amendments to several other laws and regulations. This will make it even more difficult to turn it into reality We will follow its journey over the coming months.
The text of the draft is published on the Federal portal of draft regulatory legal acts: https://regulation.gov.ru/projects#npa=107773.