Federal Arbitrazh Court of Moscow District, Decision of 12 August 2011, No. KA-A40/7993-11, Russian Society of Neighbouring Rights v. Federal Service of Surveillance Over Compliance with the Law in the Sphere of Protection of the Cultural Heritage

The Federal Arbitrazh Court of Moscow District confirmed the appointment of an organization for collection of copyright levies in Russia.

According to Article 1245 of the Russian Civil Code, copyright owners are entitled to an equitable remuneration from the manufacturers and/or importers of audio and/or video reproducing devices or data carriers (copyright levies) if the type of work makes it probable that it will be reproduced in accordance with the statutory permission for private use. Many types of audio-and video equipment for personal use expressly fall under this provision. When imported into Russia, they become subject to a copyright levy of 1% of the customs value of the imported products.

The relevant service of the Russian Government, namely the "Federal Service of Surveillance over Compliance with the Law in the Sphere of Protection of the Cultural Heritage", appointed the non-commercial organization "Russian Union of Right-holders" to collect these levies. Their English website can be accessed under www.rp-union.ru/en.

On 25 January 2011, the Moscow Arbitrazh Court ruled that the appointment of the authority for collecting copyright levies was illegal. The court supported the claims of the main competitor of the "Russian Union of Right-holders", the non-commercial partnership "Russian Society of Neighbouring Rights", that the appointment was illegal due to procedural violations. It decided that the Ministry of Culture should appoint and conduct a new accreditation procedure.

The "Russian Union of Right-holders" appealed against this judgment. On 18 April 2011, the Ninth Arbitrazh Appellate Court overruled the decision.

On 12 August 2011, the cassation instance, the Federal Arbitrazh Court of the Moscow District, confirmed that the "Russian Union of Right-holders", led by the well-known Russian producer and film director Sergey Mikhalkov, was rightfully approved as the organization for collection of copyright levies in Russia.