Reference information on private copying levy

According to Clause 1, Article 1245 of the Russian Federation Civil Code, the right to remuneration for free reproduction of phonograms and audiovisual works for private use shall belong to authors, performers and manufacturers of phonograms and audiovisual works. Private copying levy, paid by recordable media manufacturers and importers, shall be distributed between the rights holders.

The list of recordable media, blank tape levy rate and blank tape levy collection procedures were approved by the Decree of the Russian Government #829 «On Remuneration for Free Reproduction of Phonograms and Audiovisual Works for Personal Purposes» of October14, 2010.

The approved list of recordable media comprises magnetic, optical and semiconductor media as well as the equipment using such media and fitted with audio and video recording devices.

The blank tape levy rate for importers is 1 % of the customs value of recordable media (equipment and physical carriers) imported to Russia.

The Decree of the Russian Government #829 of 14.10.2010 implemented regulations on copyright and neighboring rights adopted in 1993. It also introduced Russia into a group of legally advanced countries with high level of authors’, performers’ and phonogram producers’ rights enforcement.

The idea of collecting a private copying levy appeared many decades ago. Since then its implementation has been developing in two major ways: a) a levy of 2% – 6% of the selling price of any carrier (retail product price), or b) a fixed levy rate, which depends on the music duration time and recordable media storage capacity (as in most European countries).

The first country, which introduced private copying levy into its legislation in 1965, was Germany. The second one was Austria (1980), after that – Hungary (1982). Shortly after that almost all countries of the world incrementally introduced corresponding amendments to their legislation. Among the last ones were Russia and the USA.

Private copying levy properly reimburses financial losses of authors, performers, phonogram / video / audiovisual producers, caused by unauthorized use of copyright and neighboring right objects for personal purposes in almost all countries.

All around the world collection, distribution and payment of blank tape levy is executed by collective management organizations. In accordance with Clause 2, Article 1245 of the Russian Civil Code, collection of blank tape levy shall be executed by an accredited organization.

The Federal Service for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (Order #167 of September24, 2010) granted the state accreditation for private copying levy collection to the Russian Union of Rights Holders. RUR is the only organization, body entitled to collect such levy.

The state accreditation of RUR was extended for another 10 years by the Russian Ministry of Culture on September 18, 2015 (Order #2440).

Russian Union of Rights Holders was created by cultural luminaries and artists, who wanted to protect their intellectual property rights.

The key focus area of RUR is collective management of rights of authors, performing artists, phonogram and audiovisual producers to remuneration for the private copying levy.

According to the Russian Government Decree #829 «On Remuneration for the Free Reproduction of Phonograms and Audiovisual Works for Personal Purposes» of October 14, 2010, blank tape levy shall be collected under Agreements between recordable media manufacturers and the accredited organization.

Manufacturers are obliged to submit a Recordable Media Sales Account to RUR within 10 calendar days after the end of the report period. The Sales Account should also contain documentation with description on the manufactured recordable media, its quantity, selling price and codes according to the Russian National Classification of Products.

If your company is a manufacturer of recordable media, used for private copying, you need to sign an Agreement on blank tape levy payment.

Please keep in mind that even if you don’t sign an Agreement with RUR, you still incur the obligation to pay blank tape levy. Lack of a signed Agreement does not release you from the obligation to pay for private copying. All manufacturers bare that obligation from October 26, 2010.

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