Computer Crime Research Center


Russian piracy inflicts $1 billion damage

Date: July 16, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

As it is well-known, a problem of intellectual property rights protection is the sticking point between Russia and the US. This pointed question was discussed in the frames of Russia entrance to the WTO.

However, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce William Lash, made sure himself of the efficiency of Russian law enforcement actions in this sphere. In answer to assurance of Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Deputy Minister Andrey Sharonov and head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks Boris Simonov that Russian authorities go the extra mile to fight fake production, the US official demonstrated some purchases.

Having been exposed to all the variety of fake video, CD and computer discs during his three-day visit to Russia, the US assistant secretary got amazed at the resourcefulness of Russian pirates. He showed a DVD with the inscription "Kill Bill-2" and a videotape of Troy saying he had bought it and a number of other DVDs when having had a stroll to the Kremlin last Sunday and was sure it was a fake because the movies was not yet on sale in the United States.

William Lash reported that Russian interior ministry officials had refused to meet with him to discuss matters connected with the violation of rights of intellectual property. He accounted for this lack of desire to get together by the impossibility to defend what cannot be defended.

He cited the figure of Russia's legitimate DVD market capacity as 30 million copies while its actual volume amounts to 340-370 million copies.

William Lash was astonished not so much at the fact of forging a new movie which has been just shown at the Moscow film festival as at the idea to place the first part of the movie at the same disc as well.

The main violators of the rights of intellectual property producers are Russia and China. The damage inflicted by the latter is also estimated at about $1 billion, added Willim Lash.
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