Russia’s Culture Ministry proposes Internet tax, with concessions - report
MOSCOW, February 24 (RAPSI) - The Russian Ministry of Culture has developed a bill on “copyright tax” to be collected from Internet users, Izvestia newspaper reports Tuesday citing Deputy Minister Grigory Ivliyev.
In addition, there may be exemptions for certain categories of people, including pensioners, people with disabilities and students.
In late 2014, the Russian Union of Copyright Holders suggested introducing a tax. In theory, internet users would be buying a “global license” for unlimited use of any content, including movies, music and books, for a monthly fee of 25 rubles ($0,4) or an annual fee of 300 rubles ($4,73). The collected money would be distributed among copyright holders.
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov reportedly instructed the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for Economic Development and the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media to formalize the proposal legally. On February 21, the Ministry of Culture published a draft law for public discussion.
Ivliyev said the ministry is also working on exemptions from the possible global license fee for specific categories of users. At the same time, mobile network operators who would be involved in the collection of fees could independently decide, regardless of laws or regulations, whether certain users who do not use copyrighted or associated rights protected items could be exempted from the fee.
There are 34 million old-age pensioners, 12 million disabled people over 18, 14 million schoolchildren and 18 million students, according to the Federal Statistics Service. This is almost half of the country’s 144 million people. A source close to the Russian Union of Copyright Holders told the newspaper that concessions would also be provided to social institutions, such as schools, universities and medical facilities.