Since the beginning of the war, many Western companies have ceased operations in Russia, including large Hollywood movie factories. Netflix, Disney, HBO and all the movie blockbusters from Universal Studios and MGM – can no longer be watched by the Russians.
In reality, however, according to Bild, because Russia is now throwing away all international rules in the trash and drafting a law that essentially says: Pirate copies will simply become legal.
In particular, the Russian authorities are going to distribute pirated licenses so that all intellectual property from “unfriendly” countries can be distributed in their own country – without paying royalties to the West.
This means that movie blockbusters will play in Russian theaters without Hollywood earning a penny from them, although they may be in very poor translation or compilation. Books that are reprinted cheaply without influencing authors could also be affected.
Thus, Russia becomes the first country in product piracy – well ahead of China (though not with the explicit permission of the authorities).
In the future, Russian licensees will simply be able to “sue” their “license” in Russian courts if they are denied the right to use it by companies from “unfriendly” countries, that is, those that impose sanctions on Russia.
This would be another step for Russia beyond international treaties on international law. In particular, the TRIPS agreement regulates trade relations in the field of intellectual property.
Russia announced a similar mechanism for patents at the beginning of the war, as well as for software.
However, the new law has a pitfall: even if Western software piracy is now legal, Russian users will not receive updates.
It’s even harder with video games. Pirate copies are often cheap, many game features are missing and the characters are – if any – just amateur sync.
Even worse for players: even with the best pirate copy, they have to play on their own, online interaction with other users is impossible. This is probably another reason why the use of VPN servers has exploded in Russia in the last eight weeks.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.