Пресс-релизы:Amendments on Free Licenses and Freedom of Panorama Entered into Force in Russia!

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По-русски: Вступили в силу поправки о свободных лицензиях и свободе панорамы.
Українською (Вікімедіа Україна): Свобода панорами і вільні ліцензії від тепер закріплені у законодавстві Росії.

Amendments on Free Licenses and Freedom of Panorama Entered into Force in Russia!

Copyleft symbol

Wikimedia RU congratulates the Russians and all the proponents of the free content with changes in the Russian Civil Code, which are very important for the use of the free content. Particularly, the amendments are extremely important for the Wikipedia internet-enclyclopedia and other projects for the creation and the dissemination of educational and scientific information; and for the free software. The amendments entered into force on October 1st, 2014; Wikimedia RU actively participated in the preparation of the amendments.

Among the numerous changes, we should mention:

Open licenses introduced. It includes free licenses (which are fundamental for the projects like Wikipedia or Linux). The authors of the free content get protection from misuse of their works, and the users get guarantees that no malevalent authors could harm them.

Freedom of panorama introduced: now it is allowed to make photos in any public territory. The photographers are no more formally offenders, because earlier one was not allowed to sell postcards with modern buildings without the permission of the architect or his successors (despite the fact wrongdoings of this kind were universal). Unfortunately, monuments are not covered by the amendments.

It's allowed to publish and store thesis synopses in the electronic format.

Libraries are allowed to store in the electronic format dilapidated works and those scientific and educational works that were not republished for more than 10 years.

«The direct inclusion of the stipulations on the free licenses into the law is a progressive step not only for Russia, but worldwide. There are no specific articles on the free licenses in the other countries' laws, and hence the licenses are still in the grey area there. Actually, the free licenses exploit the archaic tercentenary system of the copyright, that always protected the authors from the readers, for the opposite goal – to protect the readers from the authors. Therefore, without direct regulation, there is too vast judicial discretion, and the free licenses users are not protected perfectly. In the Russian law there are no uncertainties like that anymore. Up to the wording that covers the copyleft clauses as well, that poorly fit the traditional laws.» — explained Wikimedia RU director Vladimir Medeyko.

Members of Wikimedia RU worked fiddly on these and other amendments in the Civil Code. Namely:

In 2009-2010 the numerous letters with the description of the problems and possible solutions were sent to special State Duma committees.

In 2010-2011 the members of Wikimedia RU participated at sessions of the expert groups of the Committee of culture and the Committee of information policy and communications of the State Duma.

In april 2011 during the meeting with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the represenative of Wikimedia RU communicated the problems and possible solutions to him.

In 2011-2013 the experts from Wikimedia RU made part of the working group of Minitry of Justice on the free licenses and related laws, and also participated in commissions and other events organized by the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Culure, the Ministry of Education and Science, related to these amendments.

In 2012 the representatives of Wikimedia RU participated sessions of the State Duma's working group on the intellectual property, attended to the parliament hearings; in sessions of the Federation Council's on the information society proceedings.

In 2010-2014 the members of Wikimedia RU participated more than 200 conferences, seminars, round tables, where they explained the free content concept, and the legal problems in using it.

Hopefully, the foreign legislators will handle free licenses with the due care too, and the uncertainty will vanish everywhere.