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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Warner Plans to Introduce Home Videos Across CIS

In a breakthrough for international film distribution, Warner Home Video, a division of the American film giant Warner Brothers, Friday announced a deal to introduce home videos to the former Soviet republics.


"We trust that the provisions for copyright protection will come into place," Gerry Weber, a vice president of Warner Brothers said at a news conference Friday. "We are now happy to take the chance."


The Soviet Union was long the subject of an international film embargo, due to flagrant video piracy, which still prevails. But after two years of negotiations between with the United States on the copyright issue and the passing of a copyright law by the Russian parliament, the embargo was lifted 12 months ago.


The Russian video distributor for Warner Home Video is the Russian-Greek joint venture Varus Video, which has 150 outlets in the ex-Soviet Union.


Warner Brothers films will be dubbed into Russian and made available for rental in the Varus Video stores.


At the presentation, Tomas Topadze, director general of Varus Video, said a contract to distribute Columbia Pictures home videos is also in the works.


By deciding to make its professional home videos available to the public, Warner Brothers hopes to deter consumers from buying pirated, poor-quality versions of their videos in city kiosks.


"We appreciate that copyright enforcement cannot be done unless the legitimate product is made available," said Weber.