Moscow commercial court refused to abolish certain type of non-contractual collective rights management in Russia
Moscow commercial court refused to abolish state accreditation to exercise the rights of authors of musical works (with or without text) used in audiovisual work in order to receive remuneration for public performance or broadcast or cablecast of such work. Russian authors Society has been granted this accreditation about year ago. What this case is about? Let’s start from the beginning. In 2014 has entered into force new amendments in Russian copyright law in the field of non-contractual collective rights management.
Before 1st October 2014 it was:
Exercising of rights of composers, being authors of musical works (with or without text), used in audiovisual work, in order to receive remuneration for public performance of broadcast or cablecast of such audiovisual work (item 3 Article 1263 of Russian Civil Code). This redaction of article was in force till 1st October 2014. How many beneficiaries of accreditation? They are only composers, authors of music. Authors of text, lyrics are not beneficiaries of this accreditation. In order to give authority to collect remuneration under this provision of Russian law to RAO authors of text must conclude membership agreement with RAO. Composers don’t have to do it.
Under provision of this article and other relevant provisions of Russian law Russian Ministry of Culture organised, as it is required by Russian law, state accreditation. Russian authors society has won this accreditation and received authority to manage this right even without proper agreements with authors. As a result of organised accreditation Russian Ministry of Culture has issued the order #1165 from 15th of August 2013 and under this order Russian Authors Society has received certificate (you can call it licence) of state accreditation # MK-02/13 from 23rd August 2013. Under this accreditation RAO has authority to manage certain right till August 2023.
After 1st October 2014 it is:
Exercising of rights of authors of musical works (with or without text), used in audiovisual work, to receive remuneration for public performance or broadcast or cablecast of such audiovisual work (item 3 article 1263). This redaction of article is in force after 1st October of 2014. How many beneficiaries of state accreditation? Now they are composers and writers. After 1st October composers and writers don’t have to conclude relevant agreement with Russian authors society. Also the quantity of objects of amended authority has been changed. Now RAO under this accreditation can collect remuneration without agreements concluded with composers and writers.
Only under provision of this article Russian Ministry of Culture, without organisation of state accreditation, issued new order # 1704 (1, 2) from 3rd October 2014 and under this order Russian Authors Society received certificate of state accreditation # MK-02.1/13 from 3rd October 2014. Under this accreditation RAO has authority to manage the same right till October 2024.
Both certificates confirm the same term of accreditation – 10 years. The purpose of new order was in prolongation and changing of state authority to collect remuneration without concluded agreements, but as a result Russian Ministry of Culture in contravention of the relevant Russian law has gave new authority, under new redaction of item 3 article 1263, to collect remuneration for public performance of music in audiovisual work. In other words Russian Authors Society externally has won state accreditation, without organisation of this accreditation. But there is one more little detail. After amendment of item 3 article 1263 entered into force, the order 1165 became null and void, because it was issued under old redaction of article 1263. How Ministry of culture could grant RAO accreditation under void order? Under new redaction of item 3 article 1263 Ministry of Culture must organise new accreditation, but didn’t do it. Both orders are separate orders; the second order is not prolongation of first order. The second order is new authority for RAO, new accreditation. Does it make a sense to contest order 1165? Absolutely, does not. This order is void. It is big mistake to try to abolish order 1165.