Putin’s heir attacks Russian pirates

Medvedev is in line to be Russian president

MOSCOW — Russia’s presidential contender Dmitry Medvedev won praise from anti-piracy campaigners Wednesday for his strong condemnation of those who buy bootleg music CDs and movie DVDs.

Medvedev, chosen by President Vladimir Putin as his preferred successor and likely to be Russia’s next president following elections early March, lashed out at Russia’s culture of “legal nihilism,” labeling massive corruption as the country’s biggest problem.

“No European country can boast of such disregard for the law,” Medvedev told a Moscow Civic Forum meeting Tuesday. The purchase of pirate CDs and DVDs were one of the most obvious and widespread examples of the lack of adherence to the law in Russia, Medvedev told an audience of representatives from non-governmental organizations.

A national program to combat corruption was needed, Medvedev said.

His comments were welcomed Wednesday by Konstantin Zemchenkov, head of the MPAA-backed Russian Anti-Piracy Organization, which has been battling illicit production and sale of DVDs for a decade.

“It is a very good sign coming from the man who is likely to be our next president,” Zemchenkov said.

“By paying attention to the problem of piracy in Russia he is sending out a clear signal to those who buy pirate products that they are doing damage. We look forward to more concrete details on what more he will do.”