Ad notam. Diverse years' notes/2.7

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Ukraine starts anti-piracy struggle[edit]

PRAVDA.Ru correspondent Andrey Lubensky reports from Ukraine: The Ukraine Government passed a concept for legalizing software struggling against computer piracy. According to the concept, Ukrainian legislation on software intellectual property protection is to be improved, illegal installation of new software is to be prohibited, and it will be obligatory to purchase only licensed software. The office of US commercial representatives delivered an annual report at the end of April; the report rated Ukraine first among copyright infringers; its struggle with piratical audio- and video production was called ineffective. “Ukraine’s inability to adequately protect intellectual property rights poses a threat to its intention to be incorporated into the WTO. It also reduces its investment attractiveness,” according to the annual report. PRAVDA.Ru has reported that, at beginning of the year, the USA imposed sanctions against Ukraine because of its ineffective struggle with piracy (the sanctions are to entail losses of about $470 million per year). The sanctions were imposed right after Ukraine took strong measures concerning the production, export, and import of CDs, including licensing. The Ukrainian Supreme Rada had to take the measures in the middle of January to meet requirements of the USA. Moreover, at the end of January, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma signed a decree on establishment of a department for intellectual property protection attached to the Education and Science Ministry. The USA still considers the Ukrainian law on struggle with piracy to be ineffective. Ukraine Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh criticized the US report rating Ukraine the first among copyright infringers, and said the government objected to the estimate. In his words, the law passed by the Supreme Rada and signed by the president “provides for a number of strong measures for intellectual property protection.” At the same time, it was added that, within the nearest time, the government plans to pass several resolutions on strong resistance to the shady business in the sphere. Now, the promise is evidently not observed. It is to be stressed that not only audio and video production is meant, but the protection of intellectual property on the whole. The press service of the Ukrainian Cabinet reports that the concept for software legalizing is designed to improve and develop Ukraine’s software market. For example, it is planned to adjust copyright legislation to the international norms, create investment attractive climate in the sphere of software production, prohibit illegal installation of new software, develop new IT standards, train personnel of special departments created in the Ministry for Internal Affairs for struggle with intellectual right violation, establish cooperation with international organizations protecting interests of software legal successors, and build a national electronic register of software and training program producers and distributors. In the future, the sale of computer equipment with illegally installed software, copying and sale of software with copyright violations, illegal software distribution on the Internet, and the use of illegal software usage will qualify as copyright violation. As stated in the document, the concept looks OK, but it is difficult to forecast the way it will put into practice. To tell the truth, not only ordinary users and computer club owners (against whom the struggle is generally launched), but even governmental institutions as well can be called computer pirates, including those organizations that are authorized to struggle against piracy.

Andrey Lubensky


Translated by Maria Gousseva