1. A Russian Court has called computer pirates criminal outlaws.
In March this year two computer pirates in Russia were convicted by the Russian court. The pirates were found guilty of committing crime described in art. 146 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. As the punishment the court set the fine in the amount of 30 thou. rubles in the first case and 32 thou. rubles in the second case. The violators were amnested from the punishment. It should be noted that there is no amnesty for those who committed analogous crimes in 1998. By the way, for sale of non-licensed products there is not only fine. For the repeated committing of an analogous crime the outlaw might be imprisoned for as much as 5 years.
2. Alleged copyright infringement under criminal investigation
Another case of violation of trade mark and copyrights is even more astonishing. The Avanta+ publishing house issues a series of “Encyclopaedia for Children”, the super cover of the edition was registered as a trademark. A former employee of the firm established another company and started to publish another edition “Encyclopaedia for children and youths”. After that “Avanta +” raised a civil and criminal suit. The editor of the second encyclopaedia was said to have infringed on copyright and trademark rights of Avanta+ and even spent several months in prison during the criminal investigation. Thanks to the activity of her lawyer she was released but the criminal case has not been decided yet.
3. Copyright infringement punished by a Russian court.
In summer this year there was another case of identified copyright infringement and sort of punishment for it. A book that was on sale was found to be an infringing copy, the right holders raised a civil suit, demanded to stop selling of the book and pay damages. The court considered the case, acknowledged the copyright infringement, ordered to terminate selling of the book and awarded damages. The infringer implemented all court rulings. This is a good part of the story, but the other part is not so positive.
The case was about one of Dale Carnegie’s famous works. The Russian translation of the work was published by a small publishing house somewhere in Belarus without any licence. The book was sold in a small book store in Moscow and it was against this store that the case was raised. The plaintiffs were the translators of the book into Russian (natural persons) who, according to the Russian Law, hold copyright for the translation. The awarded damages were ten minimal monthly wages – 800 roubles, about 130 dollars (this amount was demanded in the suit). So, nobody punished the publishers, the damages awarded were ridiculously small and infringement of copyright on the book as a whole held by Russian and US editors were not considered. So, the copyright infringements are treated in Russia very seriously now though much is still left to be done.
Filed under: copyright infringement