Russian President Proposes Creative Commons-Style Rules Baked Directly Into Copyright

from the interesting-move... dept

Well, this is getting interesting. Last week, we noted that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, alone among the other G8 leaders, questioned today’s copyright laws, suggesting that they did not fit with the times, and pointed out that these century-old laws don’t seem to fit with today’s internet. Glyn Moody now points us to the news that Medvedev appears to be going even further than just condemning today’s copyright laws. He’s now looking to adjust Russia’s copyright laws in the other direction:

In a statement released on the Kremlin’s website on Thursday, Medvedev instructed the country’s communications ministry to draw up amendments “aimed at allowing authors to let an unlimited number of people use their content on the basis of free licensing.”

The proposed copyright system is on a par with the initiative launched by Creative Commons, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that has created copyright licenses that allow owners to share their content for free with certain restrictions.

This could be interesting. To be honest, I’m not sure why such things need to be baked into copyright law (as we’ve seen, it appears to work with it being built on top of existing copyright law — though, some question the legality of certain CC licenses). However, what will be most interesting is to see how copyright industry lobbyists and US politicians react to this. I imagine that such a move will show up in the industry… er… I mean the USTR’s annual Special 301 report as evidence as to why Russia doesn’t “respect” copyright law enough.

But would that really be true? Does building a more flexible, more modern copyright law really mean a lack of respect for copyright? Why wouldn’t it mean a healthy respect for building a system that matches better with the times — rather than the industry’s kneejerk reaction to just keep ratcheting up the punishments, enforcements and coverage of copyright?

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Companies: creative commons

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Comments on “Russian President Proposes Creative Commons-Style Rules Baked Directly Into Copyright”

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Jay (profile) says:


Here’s the problem:

We need to scrap copyright, patent, and trademark law and start from scratch. With all of the loopholes, barnyard backdoors and out of touch realities within, it’d be far easier to make these three laws have similar uses with today’s technology.

We know that trademark law has a “use it or lose it” clause that people seem to take far too literally.

Patent law is so ridiculous that we can make a patent on how to tie our shoes.

Copyright law… RIAA. Nuf said.

We already have the economic data that proves we don’t *need* copyright. We would arguably have MORE innovation in the workplace without having to check up on patent law, or trademarks for other competitors. The government enforced monopoly is only making copyright look more ridiculous because it can not POSSIBLY regulate a person’s behavior.

If we could start over, there would be better ways to find out what would need copyright. Arguably, software doesn’t need copyright to compete. Neither does music or movies, when companies can make their own distribution models that work to serve customers, not their own entitlements.

Do we need modern copyright law? Based on most of the evidence, the answer is no. We need people to figure out for themselves what the internet can allow, and make it work for them.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Redo

“.And to the people that say without protection no one will create anything, that is a risk we are willing to accept.”

When you say ‘protection’, I suddenly get this image of guys in suits, slicked back hair, a smirk on their face, as they rob old grandmothers of their social security money…

Oh goodness, I’m having a flashback!

John Doe says:

Re: Redo

We would arguably have MORE innovation in the workplace without having to check up on patent law, or trademarks for other competitors.

I would hate to think about the pace and type of innovation we could see if the IP leash was taken off of people and industry. As innovate as the US is today, if we really want to compete in the global marketplace in the long term, we better lose the leashes we have tethered ourselves too. If other countries were smart, they would let us tie ourselves up in knots while they innovate like mad.

Donnicton says:

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve seen it here. The start of the second Cold War. May god help us all.

(Irony isn’t lost on me considering that [i]now[/i] the US looks like the repressive bad guys with the collapsing economy and Russia looks like the goodie-goodie economic upstarts pushing for more liberties)

turkeyfish says:

Re: Making sense

Given the way the American system is “making sense” these days, I wouldn’t get too cocky. I say that as an American.

Dmitry Medvedev may be on to something here that could change some dynamics. To be honest, I’m not sure I really see that much of a difference between the RIAA and the Russian mob any more these days. Whatever the outcome, it could finally inject a little good old fashioned competition into the world economy. Those poor suckers like me at the bottom could use a little help.

That said, the only politicians that are worth watching are those that follow through on their words no matter how crazy.

Chris Hoeschen (profile) says:

Register for Copyright

We should just go back to the good old register to receive a copyright. That way if I wanted to copyright this message I would have to take proactive steps to do so, instead of the automatic copyright that is in place today. If I wanted my works to be used freely by anybody anywhere then I do nothing. But then again this way is too simple so why would we need the lawyers?

ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Darn Commies....

All of the law abiding RIAA executives and capitalist lawyers should quake in fear of the Russian Communist propaganda! CopyRIGHT is the RIGHT of big business to make money off of the creator of content – without that RIGHT, the music industry would fail and life as we know it in the US would cease to exist.

All your base are belong to us…

garm (profile) says:


This doesn’t surprise me in the least. I have always considered Russia to be at the forefront of enlightened, conscientious, intelligent debate about the need to remove barrier to innovation and the free flow of ideas and information.

If only USA would look at Russia and see how you should respond to the encroachment of our rights by unscrupulous businesses and overeager governments.

Anonymous Coward says:

Creative commons is already baked into the copyright laws. A rights owner can always issue a license in any way that they see fit, including to issue an open creative common styles licensing system.

You don’t have to change the laws to accept what is already legal. This sounds like another run of Russian let them eat cake logic. They aren’t producers, they are consumers, and consumer friendly laws are good to keep the masses quiet and in line.

Are you going to make another appearance on Russian TV to support this one, comrade?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s just the first step toward confusion. Copyright currently is pretty simple to understand: As isomething is created, it is copyright. There is never a doubt about the status. If someone wants to renounce their copyright or provide a creative commons license, they can do so without issue.

There is never an issue where someone would not know that a work is copyright. Rather, they can only show where a license has been granted.

When you start to have different domains and works could be in any one of them, you open up for the legal defence of not knowing that something was copyright, or that it was covered. It would be something that would pretty much cause copyright to collapse, further shifting the burden onto rights holders to try to prove their legal rights at every turn. Most would just give up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Not really. The public domain as step 2 is wonderful, but by default, it is better that all works created benefit from copyright by default, allowing the creator to decide the destiny of their work. If they want to move it into the public domain before the time period is up, that is their decision.

Having a system that starts with two roads is the start of confusion. “I swear judge, I thought Star Wars Episode 19 was in the public domain!”. Having a system where the copyright holder can renounce the copyright or declare and open, non-revokable, free license for the copyright life of the item makes for a system that people can more easily understand.

Confusion is the realm of those who want to upset the system.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The public domain as step 1 is even better. Not having to ask for permission to use building materials for other parts of entertainment does a lot to boost culture for all.

What your argument is trying to imply is that copyright won’t work if the public domain were considered first. This has never been the case. In fact, all evidence of removing a copyright system shows more robustness than one where you’re locking up sources.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Again, you miss the point: that the option of completely waiving your copyright gives creators an actual choice: to attempt to profit off the infinite, or to use the infinite as a lead into the scarcities.

You know all that CC-BY-SA license stuff? That wouldn’t even need to exist. You could just distribute it with, “I waive the copyright” on it, and that’s that. That doesn’t exist right now….anywhere. At all. Thanks to the bizarreness that is TRiPs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ironic how you are inspired by the proposed policies of an ass-backwards state where true free speech is anathema. Russia has no skin in the game. Infringement has little if any impact on Russian companies and the Russian economy. Lots of free content placates the masses taking their focus off of their miserable existence.

Kirion (profile) says:

Some insights for Russia

I work for russian non-profit, Russian Association for electronic communications and we are currently trying to change russian copyright laws to be more internet-friendly.

Resistance is fierce. Usually, when there is some kind of conference or roundtable, people from big content do not hesitate to call internet companies thieves. Same with CC licenses: “you want to make everything free!! How content producers will make money??”. We have RAO – licensing organization that is famous for such acts as: suing artists for singing their own songs at concerts without permision; suing barber shops, car washs etc. There was a case, where they threatened to sue WW2 veterans for singing was songs in public. And artists have no clue where this licensing money actually goes. RIAA accounting at it’s best. We also have “cd tax” which actually applied for any device that can play music! No safe harbors or anything like that. And both big content and FSB often tries to sneak new Internet regulating laws which would harm companies and users greatly.

David Kitson (user link) says:

Creative Commons.

As someone who released a popular novel under creative commons ( Turing Evolved – ) I appreciate this kind of political thinking. Just because I want to allow free copying and distribution of digital versions and ebooks of my work, doesn’t mean I want to release all rights and I need a way to protect myself against corporations who may see “free” as a way to “make money” by providing the missing services I can’t easily provide myself – such as publishing in a p-book or making a movie about it.

Creative Commons rights do need to be respected and enforced and it’s easier to reference a law than it is to challenge an abuse of the CC license in court – something I would find difficult to do.


Nova deViator (user link) says:

free distribution licences need support in law

Just a note regarding why there needs to be at least some conscious adjustment of laws in the internet era: in Slovenia, for example, musicians releasing music under CC licence are doing this only pro-forma, meaning that CC-licence here is not legally valid, as collecting society have full right (by law) to completely ignore it. In other words, CC-licences and our copyright law (regarding musical works) are in conflict.

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