Yeltsin signs music c’right law

The Recording Industry Assn. of America said Monday that Russia has finally joined the new world copyright order, with President Boris Yeltsin signing a protective law after years of lobbying.

The law empowers record companies to control reproduction and distribution for 50 years and enables them to prohibit rental.

“This law will extend protection for the first time to sound recordings,” RIAA president Jay Berman said, “and to all the people whose livelihoods are involved in their creation, including performers, musicians and record companies.”

The Russian Parliament passed a copyright law a few weeks ago, but Yeltsin vetoed it. The RIAA then prevailed upon the U.S. government to remind Yeltsin of Russian obligations under the U.S.-Russia trade agreement, and Yeltsin subsequently signed the law.

“Now that the Russians have met this obligation under the trade agreement, we’re looking forward to a prompt accession to the Geneva Phonograms Convention and the extension of protection to U.S. and other foreign works,” Berman said.

It is anticipated that the law will become effective the middle of this month when it is published in the newspaper Rossiyskaya.

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