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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Copyright Organizations Urge Piracy Clampdown

Representatives of copyright protection organizations said Thursday they had called on the government to set up task forces that would fight the huge rate of copyright piracy in Russia. Eric Koenig, Moscow head of the Business Software Alliance, which represents foreign software developers worldwide, said that more than 95 percent of all software used in Russia was "pirated," or copied in violation of producers' copyrights. Although Russia has adopted a law on copyright it is still unable to enforce it, Koenig told a symposium attended by high-ranking officials from the Interior Ministry, the Public Prosecutor's Office and other government agencies. Piracy rates in other industries are also high in Russia. Almost every street kiosk offers a variety of cassettes with illegal copies of Western and Russian films and music. Participants of the symposium, adopted a resolution advising the Interior Ministry and the Public Prosecutor's office to form "task forces on piracy consisting of dedicated law enforcement personnel" and enter piracy in the Russian criminal code as a serious crime. The establishment of task forces is particularly necessary in major cities where "piracy is a major problem and has become associated with organized crime activities," the resolution said. Eric Smith, representing the International Intellectual Property Alliance, said he was "very encouraged" by the government's acknowledgement of the importance of copyright protection in book publishing, arts, culture, science and software. "We believe the development of the Russian market in those areas depends on the enforcement of copyright protection," Smith said. "We look forward to working together with Russian copyright officials and helping them do it."