Deputies of the state Duma from the CPRF Sergey Obukhov and Valery Rashkin has sent a request to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev with a request to check the activities of the societies for collective management of copyrights by the Russian authors ‘ society (RAO), Russian Union of rights holders (RSP) and the all-Russian intellectual property organization (WIPO). The text of the inquiry of deputies addressed on 4 March, is available . The purpose of the inquiry is to ensure transparency of spending the funds of the society gathered from citizens and organizations for the use of musical and audiovisual works, Obukhov said .
The authors of the inquiry have noted the alleged “continuing growth of mistrust” on the part of authors, performers, producers of phonograms and other holders of copyright and related rights by organizations that are engaged in the management of copyright. “As far as we can judge according to our data, during the work of organizations for collective management of copyright and related rights, namely RAO, CPR and WIPO, more than 10 billion rubles came to authors, performers, makers of phonograms and other rightholders,” said Obukhov . In the calculations he had referred to public reports of societies.
In the request the deputies indicate that the activities of the CPR, the President of the Council which is directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, involves “a lot of scandals over the right of collecting royalties from importers and manufacturers of clean vehicles and equipment with a recording function”. But the most acute criticism of the CPRS is exactly on the part of owners. “In many ways, there is no confidence in the working methods of this organization,” writes butts. As an example, he cites collections of the CPR and the authors listed the benefits (these data are public and available on the website of the CPRS. — ), from which it follows that since 2010 (the first year of existence) by the year 2014, the organization has collected nearly 8 billion rubles, however, the authors were listed only 4.5 billion rubles.
In addition, funds that are specified in the CPRS reports, “virtually all (about 98%) is directed to other organisations that manage copyrights and related rights”, and not directly to the authors, the MPs write in the query.
A similar situation, when a significant portion of the funds raised do not reach the authors have developed in other societies — RAO and WIPO, according to deputies.
Also Rashkin and Obukhov asked “to take effective measures for de-monopolization” of the sphere of copyright management, it follows from the text of the query. To the activities of the societies for the management of rights is not subject to limitations provided for by Antimonopoly legislation, and this has actually led to a “patchwork” of organizations, say the MPs.
General Director of RAO Sergey Fedotov is a member of both the Board and the Council of WIPO and the CPR. WIPO Director General Andrey Krichevsky has and CPR. “Among management organizations there are also many “such crossings”, — said Obukhov. RAO, CPR and WIPO “is so affiliated that they are in fact one entity”, so check only RAO “not appropriate,” says deputies ‘ request.
The Director General of WIPO and the CPR Krichevsky declined to comment. The representative of RAO failed to promptly provide review upon request .
Money in favor of the authors of any works in Russia collected four non-profit organizations, accredited by the Ministry of culture. Russian authors ‘ society (RAO), existing since 1993, receives contributions from all TV channels, cinemas, cafes and all public places where the sound of music.
Russian Union of rights holders (RBC), established in 2010 RAO, the Union of cinematographers Nikita Mikhalkov and individuals, collects payments from producers and importers of household appliances in the amount of 1% of the cost.
All-Russian intellectual property organization (WIPO), operating since 2008, charges in favour of performers and producers of phonograms.
The fourth organization is the smallest in terms of collected funds — the Partnership for the protection and rights management in the arts (UPRAVAS). The organization donates funds for the benefit of artists.
Not the first dispute
Main Department for economic security and corruption counteraction (Guebipk) the beginning of the inspection of the activities of RAO in the summer of 2015, he wrote. Of received from an anonymous source in the documentation showed that the inspection is related to a possible “theft of royalties through the acquisition and subsequent withdrawal through front companies of real estate”. Alleged damages specified in the documents was about 0.5 billion.
2007-2011 RAO has acquired a four property has a total area of over 2 thousand square meters, then they were contributed to the authorized capital of CJSC “Service-operational company” (SEC), the subsidiary of RAO. After that, the SEC itself founded three companies and part of real estate were transferred to the authorized capital of new companies. Further, these areas went to third party companies “Siberia-leasing”, “Rosavtotrans” and Evelina Nikolaevna Eskinol that are not related to the activities of the RAO. All the information about the change of ownership of real estate was confirmed by the extracts from the Russian state register and the register.
The representative of RAO confirmed the fact of check, but denied the bad faith action. The SEC was established in accordance with the decision of the authors ‘ Council of RAO (the main governing body of the company) to manage real estate and commercial activities, explained the representative of RAO. Regarding this decision, the police carried out an inspection, was questioned by some members of the Council of authors, and most of them confirmed the Council’s decision. Due to the economic crisis and the rising cost of maintenance of premises transferred to the management of the CEA, it was decided “implementation and investing the proceeds in assets that will more effectively ensure the activity of RAO”, said the representative of RAO. In what kind of assets — a source from RAO is not specified.
In November last year, the producer and composer Igor Matvienko said that the work of RAO actually stalled — the organization’s accounts was blocked because of checks on the facts of plunders. Such a statement he made at a meeting of the Council for culture under the Chairman of the state Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. Matviyenko, who is himself a member of the authors Council of RAO, said that the current “private system of remuneration does not work, and only leads to internecine wars”. In addition, the composer reported that members of the authors Council call the appropriate authorities to give evidence and that the case “is transmitted to the Prosecutor,” wrote with reference to the recording of the live performance.
“As of November 24, 2015 organization operates in normal mode, the Bank account of society is not blocked and not blocked. Royalties collected, distributed and paid to the rights holders — individuals and legal entities — in the normal mode, without any interruptions,” claimed the representative in NN. According to him, information about the “transfer of the case to the Prosecutor’s office” is false, as well as information about “misappropriation of a billion”, such fact by the competent authorities is not established. Press Secretary RAO Marina Muradova said that the test of the Ministry of internal Affairs is in respect of persons relevant to society, but not in relation to the activities of the RAO.