Appeal in publishers' multimillion copyright dispute to be heard on April 16
MOSCOW, February 24 - RAPSI. A federal commercial court will hear on April 16 the Astrel publishing house's cassation appeal against the court decision to award the Terra publisher $285,500, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Friday.
Terra sued Astrel, a part of the AST publishing company, for allegedly illegally publishing the late Russian sci-fi writer Alexander Belyayev's novels.
An appeals court held for Terra on January 31, 2012 and awarded the plaintiff 8.5 million rubles ($285,500) instead of the 551.5 million rubles ($18.5 million) initially claimed by Terra.
The court canceled the Moscow Commercial Court's February 14, 2011 decision, which held against Terra's lawsuit. Terra sued Astrel for illegally publishing popular works by Belyayev, namely "Amphibian Man," "Professor Dowell's Head," "The Eternal Bread," and other works of fiction. Terra claimed 551.5 million rubles ($18.5 million) in compensation.
Terra claimed to own the rights to the works, while Astrel said the copyright protection terms had expired and it legally published the novels.
The court reduced the compensation amount, declaring it unfounded.
Founded in 1990, AST is one of the largest publishing companies in Russia. It accounts for 20 percent of the Russian book market, according to the company's website. AST publishes over 800 new books monthly.
Terra was founded in 1989. It plans to publish an 86-volume encyclopedia dating back to 1890-1907 and a 90-volume collection of the works of Leo Tolstoy.