Russian President Skeptical Of Today's Copyright Laws

from the outdated-and-obsolete dept

Here’s a story from the G8 Summit that apparently didn’t get very much attention in the mainstream press. It seems that, while most of the countries’ leaders expressed support for greater internet regulations when it came to copyright issues, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev questioned the validity and necessity of such laws. Part of the G8 event was an attempt to put together specific recommendations on “internet governance” with the suggested text concerning intellectual property reading:

“With regard to the protection of intellectual property, in particular copyright, trademarks, trade secrets and patents, we recognize the need to have national laws and frameworks for improved enforcement. We are thus renewing our commitment to ensuring effective action against violations of intellectual property rights in the digital arena, including action that addresses present and future infringements.”

Straight out of the RIAA/MPAA playbook, of course.

And the only one willing to point out that this made little sense, apparently, was Dmitry Medvedev, who pushed back:

“The declaration reflects an absolutely conservative position that intellectual property rights should be protected according to the existing conventions,” said Medvedev. “No one questions that, but I have repeatedly stated that, unfortunately, those conventions were written 50 or almost 100 years ago, and they are unable to regulate the whole complex of relations between the copyright owner and users.”

Characteristically unafraid to ruffle his fellow leaders’ feathers, Medvedev continued “Unfortunately, this was not included in the declaration because, in my opinion, my colleagues have a more conservative opinion than is necessary at the moment. Or maybe they just don’t use the Internet and have little understanding of it.”

I think the final sentence may be accurate, though, I’m sure that heavy lobbying from the entertainment industry impacts their views as well…

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Russian President Skeptical Of Today's Copyright Laws”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Dear Mike

I feel that you don’t fully understand the gravity of the situation. Copyright laws are just not good enough yet. If we can just pass a few more then I am sure people will see how good and just they are. Here, let me fly you to Jamaica to visit me where we can have some fresh baby dolphin burgers. I am sure that by the time we are done you will see things my way.

Friendly neighborhood RIAA lobbyist

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe the Russian President realizes that their own economic and legal systems are broken, and that most Russian people take what they want online because they have no simple way to get it in their country? Perhaps he has figured out that Russia has plenty of people making a living scamming online?

It’s like asking a drug kingpin what he thinks of street dealers. He won’t admit knowing them, but he will admire their spunk (and collect money from them all).

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Or we can force others to spend a billion dollars to “fix” the problems to gain $300k in profit!? At a national level, leaders need to look at the overall economic impact of the whole not just the ones who are failing because they can’t figure out how to make money except by lobbying the government. Money would be better spent elsewhere. If the recording industry had to use their own money to enforce/protect their (well, they didn’t really create it) content, they would have long ago either economically collapsed or gave up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I really feel it is more about the rest of us being dragged down to their level. Russia is a place with millions of stupid laws and incredible levels of lawlessness. People ignore the government, they ignore the rules, they ignore the laws, and what the Russian President is saying is pretty much “it’s what we do”.

The internet means that the playing field is often defined by the worst players, not the best.

It isn’t about profits, at least not directly. It’s about economic shifting, trading dollar industries in the western world for penny industries in the East. Russian doesn’t produce any content of note. When was the last time you watched a great Russian TV show or boogied your ass off to a hot new dance track from Siberia? They are not producers, they are consumers, and in a consumer only market, ignoring the rules of the road (copyright) is good for your economy.

Attempting to shift the burden of enforcment to the producers (as you suggest) is akin to asking car makers to provide police and enforce traffic laws. Governments exist to enforce the rules of the road and help create and maintain sustainable situations. If we pushed the burden of doing so always to the producer, we would be pretty much where Russia is today, screwed and living in cold apartments with terrible wall paper.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Then what you are saying is that there is no winning. You are saying that the Russian economy is based on piracy. This means that they do have producers, and consumers, its just that in this case the producers are reproducing existing content in mass quantities for pennies on the dollar. This analysis is accurate in my opinion, however if we continue with this scenario, then we have no possible control over it since the Internet is a global ecology and cannot be individually governed by a national legal system. This is because no matter what you do, if your content is available on the internet it can be reproduced without DRM.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

No, Russia has few producers. They have mostly consumers. They don’t have to fulfill the two sides of the supply and demand economics because supply isn’t their issue.

Basic economics says that Russia has no interest in stopping piracy because they have no econmic benefits in doing so.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

There is no economic benefit in the U.S., as a nation, to fight piracy either. It is a battle that can’t be won. A lot more money has been put into stopping piracy than the rewards reaped for the overall U.S. economy. Plus, we are losing our freedoms and privacy for an irrelevant, legacy business to make comparably measly amounts of money.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No, Russia has few producers. They have mostly consumers.

Insulting a whole nation now are we – and as usual based on your own ignorance! Russia has many producers – it’s just that (unlike the west) they sell their stuff online at sensible prices – see

I have bought more music from there in the last year than anywhere else

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But industry wants “the internet” to come up with solutions to policing content. Since current law doesn’t make Google or whoever liable, industry is trying to lobby government to make Google liable or to run enforcement raids for them. My point was that the money used for Google to create a magic infringing content wand or for local, state, and federal enforcement agencies to arrest all the pirates for, arguably, a recuperation of ‘lost’ sales would be better spent stopping, you know, murderers, rapists, and such. The damage to society and the economy from ‘piracy’ is miniscule compared to the damage industry is causing with the terrible laws they are trying to get pushed through the government and the cost to everyone else to keep them relevant.

Ed C. says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If you live in a country where no sizable part of the population speaks Russian, then it should be obvious that no mega-blockbuster, no mater how big it is there, will draw any attention. And it’s quite obvious that if you’re not familiar with Russian yourself, you’d have no reason to seek out Russian media either. While your ignorance of their cultural taste and markets is understandable, you crossed the line when you concluded that because you prefer your media over theirs, that MUST prefer your media too. And that they MUST be pirating it like filthy beggars!

You sir, are an idiot.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Funny how people who can’t create, innovate or invent oppose laws protecting creating, innovation and inventions.”

Only in America could we call the country that produced the following:

1. The Nord Stream
2. The Aviation Thermobaric Bomb
3. The Orbitrap
4. Space Tourism
5. Underwater assault rifles
6. Tetris (You’re damn right I’m including it here)
7. The Typhoon Class submarine
8. Electron cooling
9. The Space Rover
10. Supersonic Transport
11. The space toilet
12. and oh, I don’t know, human motherfucking space flight

as a country that doesn’t create, innovate, or invent.

Are you willfully trying to come off as the world’s most ethnocentric pile of douche leftovers, or does it just come naturally to you?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Wow, stop the presses!!! Russia is skeptical of copyright laws? Imagine that. Funny how people who can’t create, innovate or invent
According to Russia’s own History – they invented everything. This is true of all nations – as a patriotic Brit, I of course believe that we invented everything. However from where I’m standing Russia’s claims look a lot more convincing than the US’s.

tedbissell (profile) says:

Copyright Laws Dead?

Medvedev is only speaking of the internet as he sees it. Killer_Tofu: You are accurate also in your perception of motives. At least, we hope so.
Anonymous Coward: Medvedev’s motives may not be as bleak as you think they are.
We already have the technologies in place to enforce copyright protections globally; as they have been known to be in the past. The issue of the protection of original ideas in the form of music, art, and literature are well covered by law already. “Intellectual Property” is a concept that has only developed in the internet age. But when we want to apply past history to the future; we often fail in discovering the appropriate path to take. So, what is the best path? The one that balances concerns of ownership with fairness and equality of benefit is the best one to pursue. I am not defending any point of view without sufficient evidence of the good will of the intent.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...