Belarus Legalizes Piracy of Audiovisual Media, Computer Software From Japan – Interest

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The government will allow access without the consent of copyright holders from “unfriendly” nations until December 2024


The government of Belarus passed a law on January 3 permitting residents to access audiovisual media and computer software without the consent of copyright holders from “unfriendly” nations, of which Japan is a part of. The new law will be in effect until December 2024.

Going forward, the state-owned National Patent Authority will process international copyright claims. When individuals or companies import unlicensed or pirated content, they must pay a fee to the organization. International rights holders will then have three years to file a claim. If they fail to do so within the allotted period, the Belarus government will keep the money.

The bill describes audiovisual material as “movies, music, and TV shows” deeming “essential for the domestic market.” It encompasses products from international companies and television programs edited or distributed by a state organization. The law aims to develop the “intellectual, spiritual and moral potential of society” and reduce “the critical shortage in the domestic market of food and other goods.”

Other “unfriendly” nations and regions include Australia, Albania, Andorra, the United Kingdom, the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the United States, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, and Switzerland. The above territories have imposed economic sanctions on Belarus due to its support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Source: Deadline (Zac Ntim)

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