Several Russian record labels are bringing forward claims against mobile companies, which they claim did not pay them royalties for the public use of musical content for personal purposes. The Russian Union of Right-holders is the official representative of the record labels’ interests and is claiming that specifically Nokia and Samsung owe Russian record companies approximately $40 million in author’s royalties.
When companies such as Nokia and Samsung plan to offer customers with a platform for buying and/or copying music, Russian law states that they must pay author’s royalties. The Russian Union of Right-holders is claiming they have not paid and distributing musical/video content without a copyright license is a criminal offense.
“Everywhere in the world, including Russia, importers and producers of technical devices that can copy musical and video content pay a certain percentage of their income to the right-holders,” said Karina Abramyan, Deputy Director General of Russia’s Melodia record label. “Then they include the percentage into the cost of their products, thus making the final customer pay.”
The Russian Ministry of Culture does plan to address the issue by requesting the Prosecutor General’s Office investigate the situation. In the meantime, Nokia and Samsung have had their lcenses temporarily suspended by Russian labels, until the companies pay their debt.
According to the Russian Union of Right-holders, approximately 20 companies have claims against them, including Nokia and Samsung.