Methods of legal protection of information in the Internet Or «A thief shall sit in jail»



Oleg Poputarovskiy

Managing Partner of GSL Law & Consulting ,

It would be naive to suppose that being engaged in the sphere of legal services we have no idea of methods and measures of protecting our rights for texts, pictures and other graphic, video materials and other subjects to copyright we publish on our website.

Here we would like to tell you about methods of legal protection and several moral and ethical issues. Therefore, below you will not find descriptions of some tricky scripts and other measures of technological protection.

Considering the variegated internet audience and substantially different approaches to "Copy - Paste" action, we deem it our duty at first to inform you briefly and officially (as much as possible) about some of the existing legal aspects of copyright. At the same time, we will try to avoid too deep “dives” into analysis of regulations, principles and institutes, for example, of relevant Berne and Geneva Conventions and many other applicable laws and regulations.

For us this text is a sort of general education section of the website and our little free contribution to the mission of global legal education, and for the others it shall be the warning and declaration of our determination to protect our copyright using the whole variety of legal tools and technical measures.

So then, just a sketchy overview only within the limits of Civil Code of the Russian Federation, so that you would not get overloaded with excessive complexity of legal texts:

  • Clause 1 of Section 1229 of CC RF reads that a legal entity having exclusive rights for results of intellectual activity or individualization means (owner of copyright) is entitled to use such results or means at its discretion in any lawful way. This clause also provides that the use of results of intellectual activity without consent of the owner is illegal and will result in liability set by the CC of Russia.
  • Section 1259 of CC RF defines the idea and types of copyright subjects. This is the section to find the subjects of protection we are talking about, published on our Website.
  • Clause 3 of Section 1259 and 1263 of CC RF – it is worth mentioning that in accordance with the said regulations all video and audio materials posted on our website are protected by law, too.
  • Clause 4 of Section 1259 of CC RF – reads that it is not necessary to register the product in advance or to follow any other formalities as preliminary condition to the future protection of copyright. We mention it in order for you not to be confused or provoked to do illegal actions should you think you found something on the website being not registered for copyright and / or not deposited.

We mention it in order for you not to be confused or provoked to do illegal actions should you think you found something on the website being not registered for copyright and / or not deposited.

Regarding the means helping in future to prove legally important facts: results of creative activity, dates (time priority) and other circumstances related to the choice of ways to protect copyright, like Notary, Russian Authors’ Society (RAO), Russian Organization for Intellectual Property (VOIS), so called “electronic registration”, posting, license agreements, etc. – We are keeping up.

In this context, the necessary reasonable preventive measures have been made for collection of proof and evidence. For the evident reasons, we will not go into details of those measures.

  • Part 2 of Clause 2 of Section 1259 of CC RF: sets up a construction which make possible to define a website not only as an assembly of subjects of copyright, but also as an independent complex product in accordance with selection or arrangement of materials representing a result of creative activity.
  • Clause 1271 of CC RF – few words about circled Latin letter “C” and other authorship notices. If you read the said clause carefully you will see that use of such symbols is a RIGHT and not an obligation of the author. Thus, no matter if you see the symbol or not, it changes nothing in relationships between an author and users.
  • Clause 1252 of CC RF – defines the main protection measures.
  • Clause 1301 of CC RF – determines kinds and limits of civil liability.

Pheeeeew.. Let’s hope, this is enough ))) I guess only few have reached even this phrase.

For such persistent persons and others alike, who have a more deep and professional interest in the legal aspect below are some useful references:

Common topics regarding the said issues:

  • Decrees N15 of Supreme Court of Russian Federation Plenum as of the 19th of June, 2006 “Issues raised by courts proceeding civil cases related to enforcement of copyright and allied rights”.
  • Decree N5 of Supreme Court of Russian Federation Plenum Supreme Arbitration Court of Russian Federation Plenum as of the 26th of March 2009 N29 “On some issues appeared in relation to enactment of the Part 4 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation”.
  • Exercise of individual civil rights with the use of the Internet” (N.A. Dmitrik) (“Volters Kluver”, 2006).

Regarding the functions and powers of a notary in the process of copyright protection:

  • «Depositing works of authorship as an element of cases subject to notary’s jurisdiction» (A.V. Neznamov) (“Arbitration and Civil proceedings”, 2010, N12).
  • «Depositing works of authorship as an element of cases subject to notary’s jurisdiction» (A.V. Neznamov) (“Notary”, 2010, N5).

Website owner’s liability issues:

  • Some issues related to liability of a website owner (D.A. Petrov) (“Taxes” (newspaper), 2009, N45).

Related significant leading cases:

  • Decree N255/08 of Plenum of Supreme Arbitration Court of Russian Federation as of the 22nd of April, 2008.
  • Decree of Federal Arbitration Court of Moscow district as of the 25th of May, 2009 N KG-A40/1594-09, case N A40-18395/08-26-81 (“Odnoklassniki” Case).

How do you think, what are the possible ways of use, for example, of such document:

  • A LETTER from Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation as of the 22nd of October, 2004 N07-05-14/280.

And now, if you do not mind, a few words about moral rectitude and ethics, including professional ethics.

After all, how can we do without them? )))

Our own humble observations show that our texts are mostly copied by our fellow lawyers and other different persons using impenetrable armor of term “professional consultant in sphere of international tax planning” as well as other solid concepts of that sort.

On the main page (and/or other pages) of their websites you can always find phrases like “We are a big team of professional consultants with a long-term experience in the sphere of…”. At the same time, on such sites you will never see names, photos or any other kind of individualization of the referred consultants who could help you to form an independent objective opinion about credibility and reliability of the proposed impersonal offer.

We note all that. For the time being we just keep monitoring, as we believe our advantage lies not in making each person of that sort liable and in restoring this way the violated rights and proving our professionalism, but in our moving forward. We constantly write new texts, update the website’s content, publish new author’s materials, including video and audio and become more interactive. In other words, we try to fill the website with identifying and not IMPERSONAL information. In the long run, “pirates” of the intellectual property will always be secondary and potential customers will attach less value to such pirated information even at the subconscious level.

Moreover, we will not intrench upon the truth. Estimation of time and energy spent on chasing the Internet ghost-twins – do matter. We live and work in real time and space and have to think how the energy spent weigh against the possible result.

МWe would not recommend perceiving the above said as an indulgence. And in this connection we want to underline that our right to use the whole specter of measures provided by the current legislation is just the question of time and principle of inescapable liability.

However naive it may sound on the web, With deepest respect and sincere wishes for success in your business,

Oleg Poputarovskiy,
Managing Partner of GSL Law & Consulting