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Russia appoints body to administer new private copy levy

By | Published on Thursday 28 October 2010

There’s a little bit of tension in the Russian music industry today following the announcement The Russian Copyright Owners’ Union, or RSP, had been appointed to distribute a new levy that has been introduced in Russia on “recordable media and related equipment”.

The levy is similar to that applied in many European countries (though not the UK) on blank cassettes and CDRs and, more recently, in some territories, on digital recording devices to compensate copyright owners for the private copies of their work consumers inevitably make. The levy is usually distributed back to the music industry via a collecting society.

With that in mind, Russian collecting society ROUPI hoped to administer the new levy, but the country’s government announced yesterday the RSP had been handed the responsibility, even though that organisation was only established last year and is not currently operational.

A spokesman for ROUPI claimed that the RSP had been handed the levy role simply because it had a celebrity boss – veteran film director Nikita Mikhalkov – adding that they would appeal the ruling on the grounds the Russian government didn’t follow the correct procedure in appointing their rivals.