Tuesday, April 26, 2011

World Copyright Summit: 3 questions to Alexandre Polesitski (Europa Plus)

Alexandre Polesitski is Director General of Europa Media Group in Russia – part of the France's Lagardere group – and Vice-President of the National Association of Broadcasters. He is also the President of the Radio Committee at Russia’s Media Union.

He will be taking part in the Session “The benefits of copyright compliance – Russia’s experience” at the World Copyright Summit in Brussels, on Tuesday 7 June 2011. He talks about the copyright situation in Russia, and of the importance of clear copyright laws for the broadcasting community.

Q: Why did you accept to speak at the World Copyright Summit?
Alexandre Polesitski: Europa Plus was historically the first commercial radio in Russia  – it’s still leading by audience — and was also the first to support the efforts of authors to establish a legal framework in this field. We were the first to sign an agreement with RAO, Russia’s author’s society. For us, the respect of author’s rights and neighbouring rights is a necessary condition for the full integration of Russia into the international market that is of interest to us — music, show-biz, cinema… The protection of rights and the control of these rights are equally indispensable so that there is an even playing field among the various competitors in the media sector. Being part of the Summit is a way for us to show our commitment to the respect of author’s rights and our willingness to contribute to progress in this field.

Q: Do you feel that progress has been made in Russia in the field of author’s rights and their protection?
Alexandre Polesitski: Yes, without a doubt. Ten or fifteen years ago, a situation like today — where most radio stations pay fees — would have been almost unthinkable. And neighbouring rights were not even protected. The free use of western music in films, ad spots, public performances was the rule. There are still problems — with a lot of piracy still going on — but there’s been significant progress.

Q: How do you judge the evolution of the relationship between the media and author’s societies in Russia?
Alexandre Polesitski: In our field, I would say that the evolution of the relationship has been rather positive. Until now we have always been able to find compromises when it comes to remuneration rates, the level of revenues which are taken into account for royalties, the conditions of usage of protected works in our media activities other than the broadcast of music…

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