Russian copyright law will undergo a major change on May 1 that has the music industry celebrating: Music will soon be afforded the same protections as videos within one of the world's largest nations (from Billboard).
It's been 18 months since Russia passed more stringent copyright laws for online usage of videos but now the BRIC nation has advanced similar rights for the owners of music-based intellectual property. The amendment to copyright laws will allow the owners of music to file a motion to have websites illegally hosting their material to take it down. Court rulings will not be necessary although the defendants will get the opportunity to defend themselves...twice. If your site gets busted for hosting illegal content a second time, it will be pulled from the web.
Although the law will only become official on May 1, some of the bigger names in the online-media market have already begun to change their practices, foreseeing the coming changes. VKontakte, a major file-sharing site notorious for it's array of user-generated content, has dropped streaming capabilities from its mobile apps...and according to Billboard, VKontakte is also in talks with rights holders to access actual licensure, perhaps with future plans to operate as a Russian Spotify.
The effects on video sales have been positive and music executives hope that the same thing happens in their corner of the entertainment market. In the period since the video copyright laws were tightened up, sales of movies and TV shows have doubled over 18 months, according to deputy communications minister Alexei Volin.
"We are very glad that the anti-piracy law has been finally extended to cover music," said Alexei Kozin, general director of Russian label Navigator Records. "The music industry can now expect a serious boost as we have a major instrument for protecting our copyright."