Tax law

IRIS Plus 2009-1: The Legal Status of the Producer of Audiovisual Works in the Russian Federation

Author: Dmitry Golovanov, Moscow Media Law and Policy Centre

Published: 01/02/2009

A year ago in this very same publication, Dmitry Golovanov reported on the "Transformation of Author's Rights and Neighbouring Rights in Russia" (see IRIS plus 2008-2) and created enormous interest in the topic throughout the audiovisual industry. The impact of Russian copyright law on the audiovisual industry and the industry's interest in the topic naturally exceeded what could be printed on eight pages. Therefore, we are pleased to take you on a second journey through important rules of Russian copyright law, this time focusing on the legal status of the producer of audiovisual works.

As for the 2008 IRIS plus issue, much of what applies under Russia's current legal framework to producers has to be seen in the context of what the rules were before the passing of several relevant statutes in the 1990ties and thereafter including the period up to the recent overhaul of the 1993 Copyright Statute. And as this IRIS plus indicates, even the new legislation leaves enough room for further development inasmuch as crucial questions such as what constitutes an audiovisual work have not yet been satisfactorily resolved. Likewise, the definition of authorship, highly relevant for the producer, needs clarification as do other issues concerning producers' relationships with rightsholders. Reading this IRIS plus, however, gives good guidance towards the light at the end of the tunnel.