Russian Federation: General Overview Of Russian Copyright Law

Last Updated: 24 June 2014
Article by Petr Shevtsov and Valentin Petrov

Legal Framework

In Russia, copyright issues are governed by Part IV of the Russian Civil Code ("CC") that became effective on January 1, 2008. It replaced the 1993 copyright law which, in turn, drew heavily upon provisions of the conventions of Berne and Rome regarding copyright and neighboring rights and the model laws of World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO"). Part IV of the CC establishes a comprehensive legal framework governing intellectual property (IP) issues, however, in many substantive respects its provisions that are applicable to copyright are similar to the provisions of its predecessor 1993 Russian copyright law. Chapter 69 of the CC sets out general provisions applicable to IP, including copyright. Chapter 70 deals with copyright (called "author's right") and Chapter 71 deals with neighboring rights such as rights to phonograms and broadcasting, as well as scientific works (neighboring rights are outside the scope of this analysis).

Article 5 of Federal Law No. 231-FZ, dated December 18, 2006 (as amended), that brought CC Part IV into force, provided that the provisions of CC Part IV applied not only to all new works, but also new rights and obligations that would arise on pre-existing works. Article 5 further established that existing IP rights were henceforth protected in accordance with CC Part IV, but the authorship and other initial rights were determined by the law effective at the time when a work was created. Pursuant to Article 6 of Federal Law No. 231-FZ, the general 70-year copyright term established by Part IV of the CC applies to situations where the previously applicable 50-year copyright term had not expired by January 1, 1993, as well as to copyrights held by legal entities (as opposed to individuals) that arose prior to August 3, 1993.

Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) is the federal agency overseeing the use and legal protection of IP rights in Russia. Russia is party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 9, 1886 (as amended) and the Universal Copyright Convention of September 6, 1952 (as revised on July 24, 1971). Both became effective for Russia on March 13, 1995. As Russia is a party of the WTO, it is bound by the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In 2008, Russia joined the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) that entered into force with regard to Russia on February 5, 2009.

General Provisions

General provisions applicable to IP, including copyright, are set out in CC Chapter 69. Article 1225 of the CC lists types of protected IP, including literary, scientific and artistic works. Unlike the Soviet-era law that allowed legal entities to be deemed "authors", both the 1993 copyright law and CC Part IV only recognize individuals who created the work as authors. Article 1228 expressly states that persons who provide technical, advisory, financial or logistical assistance or supervision, but do not contribute to the creative process, cannot be recognized as authors.

IP rights include the exclusive right and, to the extent provided by the CC, may include "personal non-economic rights" or "other rights" (CC Article 1226). The exclusive right is an economic right that is transferable. It has a period of duration. The exclusive right holder may use the work in any legitimate way and derive financial reward from it, as well as authorize or prevent certain acts in relation to the work. Specifically, the rights owner may authorize or prohibit the reproduction of the work (such as in printed publications), the distribution of its copies, its broadcasting or other communication to the public, its translation into other languages or its adaptation (such as novel into a screenplay). "Personal non-economic rights" (including right to claim authorship of the work) are moral rights allowing the author to take certain actions to preserve the personal link between him or her self and the work. They are non-transferable and cannot be waived (CC Articles 1228 and 1265).

Rules on Copyright

In Russia (as in many continental European countries) copyright is known as "author's rights". CC Article 1259 contains a detailed list of works that are subject to author's rights, including literary works, derivative works (such as translations), collections (such as encyclopedias or data bases), artistic and graphic works, photographs and similar works, computer programs, etc. Article 1259 expressly excludes certain items (such as folklore, news items and official documents and symbols or ideas, discoveries, processes, etc.) from the definition protected works of authorship. It provides that the protection extends both to published and unpublished works and that no registration or other formalities are required for the creation, exercise or protection of author's rights.

Specific provisions governing copyright appear in Chapter 70 of the CC. Pursuant to Article 1255 and related Articles, the author's rights include:

  1. exclusive right to the work (discussed in more detail below);
  2. right of authorship (i.e. the right to be recognized as the author of the work);
  3. "right to name" (i.e. the right of the author to use or authorize the use of a work under his or her name, under a pen name or anonymously);
  4. right of integrity (i.e. the requirement that any modifications, edits, commentaries or illustrations to the work may only be made or added with the consent of the author, as well as the right of the author to demand protection of its reputation and personal integrity),
  5. right of publication (an author who has contractually transferred to another person the right to use its work is deemed to have consented to the publication of the work by such person); and
  6. in cases provided by the CC, other rights (such as the right to withdraw its consent to the publication of work subject to compensating the publisher for resulting damages).

Author's rights discussed under items (ii) through (iv) enjoy protection during an indefinite term. The general term of the author's exclusive right is 70 years after the death of the author (Article 1281) following which the work becomes public domain and may be freely used by anyone (except for unpublished works whose author during his or her lifetime expressly objected to their publication).

Consistent with the general provisions regarding the scope of exclusive rights to IP set out in Chapter 69 of the CC, Article 1270 offers examples of uses of protected rights. Those include reproduction (such as reproduction by the publisher), distribution, public display, import, rental; public performance, broadcasting and similar communication to the public; translation or other adaptation of the work (i.e. creation of a derivative work) or making the work publicly available in any other way. Some forms of reproduction (e.g. certain types of quotations, certain uses in educational text books or by libraries) do not require the author's consent or payment of compensation to the author, provided that the name of the author and the source are clearly indicated.

Generally, it is the author who holds the exclusive right. However, when a work is created by an author who is employed for the purpose of creating that work, then it is the employer, not the author, who holds copyright in the work, unless otherwise provided by contract between the author and the employer. CC Article CC 1295 provides certain exceptions and limitations to this rule.

CC Article 1284 provides that the exclusive right held by the author is not subject to attachment. However, author's claims to third persons under exclusive right transfer agreements or licensing agreements, as well as any revenues derived from the use of a work, may be attached. Similarly, exclusive rights held by persons other than the author, as well as licensee's rights to use a work, may be subject to attachment.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Vash Patent LLC
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Vash Patent LLC
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions