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Russian biz pushes for new piracy law

Movie chiefs want unified copyright theft law

LONDON — Russian movie studio chiefs who are part of an anti-piracy industry group “No to Thieves!” are planning to draw up proposals to lobby the Russian government to create a unified anti-piracy law that covers all copyright theft on the Internet.

The group — which includes Andrey Smirnov, president of Sistema Mass-media, Dmitiry Meshiev, head producer of Russian World Studios and creative director of its St. Petersburg studios, and Michael Schlicht, head of Sony Pictures Ent. in Russia, and representatives of other media and Internet companies — says Russia has the largest number of illegal download sites on the Internet worldwide.

The cost in illegal downloads of films to Russian movie studios is estimated to be as high as $1.5 billion a year

Russian piracy laws needs tightening up, the group says and plans to draw up proposals for the creation of a single set of laws for all audiovisual works that would subject Internet providers to a unified system of control to prevent illegal downloads.

The plans would be put before members of Russia’s parliamentary culture committee.

Smirnov, of Sistema Mass-media, said: “There is no need to separate the contents of a movie and any other forbidden content, being illegally spread over the Internet. Both of them are a major law violation.”

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