Copyright protection online in Russia

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Alexander Dubok
Alexander Dubok
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Anatoly Dubok
Anatoly Dubok
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Daniel Fadeev
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Dmitry Naplekov
Dmitry Naplekov
Patent Attorney No. 2086.
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Protection of rights of the creator of creative objects is carried out in all directions - for the published and unpublished works, when placed on the Internet or on tangible and digital media. Despite the same list of ways of protection, the struggle against illegal use, copying and distribution of creative works through Internet resources is much more complicated. This is due to the simplicity of dealing with information that is protected by copyright.

How to prove copyrights on the Internet

The national legislation of the Russian Federation and international acts do not establish additional ways to protect intellectual rights on the Internet. However, when confirming personal and exclusive rights it is necessary to take into account special rules:

  • rights to the results of creative work will arise immediately after the creation of the work or part of it - this means that the author or right holder can immediately seek to eliminate violations identified on Internet resources;
  • for objects of industrial and commercial property exclusive rights will arise only from the moment of registration at the patent services - hence, it is possible to make claims and claims against the infringers only if a patent or a certificate is available;
  • any methods of use, copying, reproduction and distribution are allowed only with the consent or permission of the right holder, even if the activities of others are not related to profit making.

If an author or right holder has identified an infringement on the Internet, he must prove copyright or patent rights in order to make a claim or recover damages. For the owner of a trademark or patent certificate this is not difficult, since information about rights is registered in the registry. For the creator of a work it is not so easy to prove the existence of rights, since the law does not provide for the registration of authorship.

To avoid problems in the implementation of measures of copyright protection on the Internet, you can use the following methods of proof:

  • for literary and other similar works it is possible to go through the procedure of depositing through copyright societies, to certify the fact of creation through a notary public, to place signs of legal protection when publishing on the Internet;
  • for works of fine art, photographs, graphic and other similar objects it is possible to undergo a deposit procedure, to publish a copy of the creation with the signs of protection on the Internet, to place it in specialized databases and catalogs;
  • for works related to the performance of music, dance, theatrical monologues and other similar objects it is possible to record the creative process on video, provide it with signs of legal protection, deposit it in copyright societies.

This is only a rough list of options for proving authorship. They will not guarantee that the work will be able to avoid unlawful infringement, but they will greatly simplify the procedure for prosecution.

Types of infringements on the Internet

The categories of copyright infringement on the Internet are much broader than the illegal use of tangible or digital media with illegal content. This is due to the possibility to remain anonymous when committing illegal actions, and the fact of illegal copying or distribution can take place in seconds. Let's highlight the most common types of violations, which the author may encounter on the Internet:

This is only a rough list of violations for which claims and lawsuits can be brought. Liability will arise even if the violation was not related to making a profit from the use or distribution of content on the Internet. For example, when works are posted and distributed free of charge via peer-to-peer networks and torrents, the copyright holder will be able to hold the owner or administrator of the site liable, and in some cases even the ordinary users of such resources.

Copyright protections online

The regime of protection of exclusive rights is valid throughout the life of the author, as well as for another 70 years after his death. Consequently, protection measures will also be available to purchasers of rights under contracts, successors and assigns. The term of protection of personal rights (to the name, to the name and inviolability of the work) is not limited by law, so protection measures can be applied at any time.

Let's consider what methods and options for copyright protection can be used online. First of all, the author or copyright holder will be able to file claims and lawsuits on the fact of any detected violation. To confirm the discovery of such facts can be made in the following ways:

  • by certifying a copy of the Internet page with illegal content;
  • by contacting Roskomnadzor or law enforcement authorities to identify the owner or administrator of the site, to confirm the illegal use of copyrights;
  • by control purchases, if the illegal content is distributed through the Internet on a remunerated basis.

Before going to court, the author has the right to submit a written request to the infringer. The subject of such a claim may be a demand to stop the illegal use of the object, to remove the illegal content from the Internet, to close the site, to pay the royalties or to compensate the losses. The main problem in implementing this defense option is the difficulty in obtaining information about the proper owner of the resource.

The most effective defense option would be to go to court. In this case, the subject of the claim may be:

  • proving or disputing authorship, confirmation of exclusive rights to the creative object;
  • Suspension or complete blocking of Internet resources with illegal content;
  • early termination of license agreements with payment of penalties;
  • recovery of damages calculated by the right holder;
  • recovery of punitive damages for copyright infringement.

The amount of damages must be made and substantiated by the applicant. For this purpose, it is possible to apply to an independent appraiser, to use the data on the actual income from unlawful activities. When claiming punitive compensation, it is not necessary to prove the amount of damages. Taking into account the nature of the violation, the court may levy compensation in favor of the right holder in the amount from 50 thousand rubles to 5 million rubles. The amount of compensation may also be equated to twice the value of the exclusive right.

If the infringement is significant, or occurs repeatedly, it is possible to apply to law enforcement authorities to be held administratively or criminally liable. Authors who infringe copyright on the Internet can be fined heavily or sentenced to imprisonment. Criminal or administrative liability does not exempt from full compensation for damages.

Similar protection measures can be implemented at the international level. Most states worldwide regularly toughen penalties for piracy or other Internet offences. Therefore, regardless of where the infringement took place, the perpetrators will be punished under the rules of national or international copyright law.

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