MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. A Federation Council committee has proposed allowing Russian cinemas to screen foreign films without the consent of copyright holders, but with remuneration to them. The text of the draft government decree prepared by the senators has been seen by TASS.
"The proposed Russian government resolution would enable the screening of foreign films in Russia in the absence of license agreements with relevant copyright holders or without their consent, but with the payment of remuneration," reads an explanatory note to the paper prepared by the upper house’s Economic Policy Committee.
Committee chairman Andrey Kutepov told TASS that amid the special military operation in Ukraine Sony, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., BBC Studios, Universal Pictures and other overseas companies had suspended licensing movies for Russian users, while films made by the above-mentioned companies are duly released and licensed outside Russia, "which runs counter to international law and is considered an abuse of rights by the copyright holders. Apart from infringing on the rights of Russian citizens compared to other nationals in their right to access released audio and visual materials, the very existence of Russia’s film screening industry is at stake, the senator explained.
The draft resolution is viewed as a temporary measure regarding films owned by foreign legal entities or individuals from countries that are unfriendly to Russia who have suspended licensing film screenings in Russia. The senators also propose freeing users of such materials from any administrative or criminal responsibility.