Russian Supreme Court refuses to review Panasonic's lawsuit over copyright fees
MOSCOW, September 9 (RAPSI) - The Russian Supreme Court will not review court rulings regarding the validity of a Culture Ministry directive saying that Panasonic Rus (Panasonic subsidiary) is liable for royalties owed to Nikita Mikhalkov’s Russian Union of Right Holders.
The Supreme Court explains that Panasonic’s appeal basically describes the circumstances of the lawsuit that were examined and assessed by the lower courts, which does not indicate any violation of substantive or procedural law. The court refused to forward the claim by Panasonic Rus to its Judicial Board on Economic Disputes.
On September 29, 2014, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled against Panasonic in a lawsuit regarding the Culture Ministry’s directive. The court also dismissed a lawsuit on recognizing the ministry’s inspection of the company as illegal. The court of appeals on December 29, 2014, and the court of cassation appeals on May 13, 2015, upheld the Commercial Court’s order.
The union, headed by the Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, is seeking 205 million rubles ($3 mln) in damages plus 29 million rubles ($428,000) in interest.
The union was authorized in September 2010 to collect and distribute remuneration for the writers, performers and soundtrack producers and audiovisual products for free reproduction of soundtracks and audiovisual products for private purposes within the territory of the Russian Federation.
Panasonic’s Russian subsidiary was inspected in September for compliance with copyright law. The inspection revealed that the company imported consumer electronics into Russia without paying the copyright fees in violation of the policy of the union.