This article follows a round table Managing IP had with several Russian experts on IP and copyright. There was much discussion on whether Part IV would help or hurt Russian copyright law. The general consensus was that the code, in large part, didn’t change from the previous law. In addition, because current amendments were being proposed to the old copyright laws, those amendments would need to go through a new process to amend Part IV. There was much criticism that, due to haste, these amendments were not included in the first place. One comment that struck me was from Yuri Mikhailichenko, who was the Executive Secretary of the Expert Council on Legal Regulation and Protection of Intellectual Property for the State Duma. His observation is that Part IV “is a document which has increased the interest of Russian society in IP and is a signal that the government and president are looking at the problem and trying to do something (Managing IP 50).” It would seem that Part IV is largely made to placate the world, as Russia was working on joining the WTO at the time; rather than make serious strides to resolving some of its copyright issues. Further on, there is a discussion on why IP was included in civil law, rather than criminal with a good citing of the issues surrounding the music industry. In essence, current enforcement takes too long and the punishments amount to a pittance of the possible income. These fines currently do not serve as a deterrent for the crimes committed.
Following its inclusion into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russian introduced a stricter set of regulations for copyright and protection of intellectual property. Attached is the English translation of the Civil Code, Part IV.