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Monday, March 19, 2018

Businessmen accused Nikita Mikhalkov of greed

Russian manufacturers and importers of electronics, major retailers appealed to Vladimir Putin with a request to deprive Russian Union of rights holders (RBC), which is headed by famous film Director Nikita Mikhalkov, functions to raise funds with imported recording equipment: phones, laptops, cameras, CDs, flash drives, etc., each year brings CPR to 2.7 billion rubles. According to the business, the relevant administration is required to pass the tax authorities and for the public Union to leave only the distribution of money among copyright holders.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

Recall that we are talking about the adopted six years ago collecting 1% of producers and importers of recording equipment in favour of various rights holders, established on the initiative of Nikita Mikhalkov. In RSP, he still holds the post of President of the Council.

From the beginning, “Mikhalkov tax” caused a lot of controversy. Imagine a situation that you bought the license disc with the movie and decided to copy it, for example, on a laptop, to be able to watch a movie at the cottage or on a trip. Here is the copy, as suggested by the ideologists of the collection, the material infringes on the copyright holders for what they are to the copyright fees must also pay extra.

Obviously, not all copying is piracy for the purpose of illegal distribution or resale. Anyway, the problem about the compensation. According to VTSIOM, last year only 2% of Russians copied the purchased content for personal use. So why a fee is paid for all imported recording equipment?

In this regard, the Association of trading companies and manufacturers of consumer electronic and computer equipment (RATEK) has written to the presidential administration, the government and the state Duma several letters in which he proposed to radically change the collection of this “reward”.

In RATEK insist that the relevant functions should be transferred from the public organization of the state (most likely, the Federal tax service. — “MK”). And for the RSP to write only distribution of funds. Later in RATEK offer to establish clearer criteria for equipment which is intended for personal use, and what is strictly professional. With the latter, according to the Civil code and government decree №829, the fee is not charged.

In addition, businesses are dissatisfied with the court practice on claims of RSP. “The decisions of arbitration courts are accepted from the standpoint of the presumption of innocence of the accredited organization, despite the sometimes obvious groundlessness of claims, — said the head of RATEK Alexander Onishchuk. — The 90 RSP contracts with importers to pay the levy indicate unequal competitive situation in the market. Because the actual number of suppliers from overseas electronics in the hundreds and thousands.

RSP is possible to recover the compensation from companies, despite skipping the three-year limitation period or with professional equipment. Thus, in 2014-2015 the Union has received from various brands, more than 300 million rubles.

Finally, entrepreneurs need to reject the latest initiative of the Ministry of culture for inclusion in the list of subject of the author’s collection, “smart hours”. “This is an unprecedented incompetence, greed and cynicism of our officials — outraged Onischuk. — Are there many people in the world, copying something with the help of such mini gadgets. This includes PCs, laptops, smartphones”.

“Most of the issues that are raised RATEK has already been the subject of consideration and Executive bodies, and courts up to the judicial Board of the Supreme court of Russia, — has declared “MK” the General Director of RSP Andrey Krichevsky. Is primarily concerned with the classification of the equipment category nekupiruemy or professional. RSP is always trying to approach the issue of determining the category of equipment from the standpoint of common sense. So, we supported the proposal RATEK excluded from the list of cameras — it is obvious that the usual practice does not include private copying. At the same time new equipment that has the function of playing music and videos and is really used for these purposes, for example “smart watches” should be included in the list”.

In General, RSP — closed organization. The latest report on its activities for 2014, posted on the official website, consists of only four pages. First — title, second empty, third and fourth, 90 contracts with payers collected 2,675 billion rubles, of which the holders who are mostly legal persons, received 1,739 billion. The remaining funds (nearly a billion) was deducted to cover expenses of RSP, as well as directed “on a collective basis in special funds.”

Who got the money, how much, based on what criteria, the ratings, the document does not say. Not named and special funds, supposedly created with the consent of the holders.

As we found out “MK”, last year the amount of remuneration collected RSP in favor of the holders amounted to 2,185 billion rubles, the volume of payments — 1.5 billion rubles. The decrease in fees is probably due to the General decline of import of equipment by 30%.

In addition to RSP now in Russia there are still two organizations with state accreditation on the management of copyright: Russian authors ‘ society (RAO), collects and distributes fees for use of musical works, as well as the all-Russian intellectual property organization (WIPO), which specializiruetsya on the camp for the use of phonograms.

Russian authors ‘ society after the arrest of its head Sergey Fedotov, accused of multimillion dollar fraud, there are big changes happening. Last year Mikhalkov Union broke with RAO contractual relationship and ceased to transfer funds to it.


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