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Here I am – a creative (maybe not) person. Every day I create something: improvise on a musical instrument, make sketches, compose, write posts in social networks. Am I the author? Where are my rights, fees, or whatever I'm supposed to be?

Смежное право в музыке и кино
Photograph: Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images

Copyright in the Russian Federation is regulated by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, namely: Chapter 70 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation “Copyright" (Articles 1255-1302). In controversial issues, this is the most reliable and legitimate source of information.

Difficult and incomprehensible?

The patent attorney of the Russian Federation, an expert in the field of intellectual property, a master of private law helped us to translate from a formalized language into an understandable one Natalia Medik.


A song, a story, a poem, an author's comic, a program code, a painting, a photograph, a building project, a character, an author's blog – these are all objects of someone's authorship. They are subject to copyright protection, which means they can be monetized, i.e. bring you income.

Let's figure out what the essence of copyright is, define its boundaries and your capabilities as an author.

When does the right of authorship appear?

Copyright is valid from the moment you create a work, protecting you as an artist, blogger, writer, designer or other figure from using the results of your work without your consent – plagiarism, sale of counterfeit and publications without attribution, i.e. protects you as an author and copyright holder.

Copyright is a set of legal norms regulating relations related to objects of copyright (for example, works of science, literature and art).

Copyright and related rights are one of the main parts of the entire system of intellectual property law. Copyright protects the rights of authors of works of science, literature and art and other copyright holders. Related rights protect the interests of performers, producers of phonograms, producers of databases, as well as works of science, literature and art (in terms of protecting the rights of publishers of such works).

A visual diagram of copyright and related rights with explanations

It is important to note that copyright in the Russian Federation applies to works of literature, science and art: artistic and scientific texts (including translations), two-dimensional images (paintings, photographs, films), three-dimensional objects (sculptures, architectural structures), musical works (musical notation), etc. So, if you had a hand in creating any of the above, you can safely call yourself the author (or co-author) and claim your intellectual property!

A copyright expert? Take the test with the answers and check your knowledge

The concept of "intellectual property" or "intellectual rights" includes the concept of "copyright". The term is regulated by Article 1226 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and means the rights of the author and the rightholder secured by law to the result of his intellectual activity or means of individualization. The set of copyrights can be divided into several groups (see the diagram below)


Exclusive rights

We are talking about property rights that can be assessed, sold or pledged \under license. The exclusive right to the work will be valid throughout the life of the author and for 70 years, counting from January 1 of the year following the year of his death. After the expiration of this period, the work passes into the public domain and can be freely used by any person without anyone's consent or permission, as well as without payment of royalties. All personal non-property rights of the author are preserved, which means that it is impossible to change, supplement or shorten the work. When co-authoring other rules. In this article, we will partially touch on the adjacency so that you understand the difference. Artists dispose of the property right when licensing songs or providing synchronization of their music with an advertising video. If we talk about music, an artist receives money for synchronizing his track (music) with a video sequence (commercial). At the same time, the rights are given for a certain period and territory.

One example is Alexander Gudkov, who used his own techno to advertise Adidas - Shelter.

Alexandr Gudkov for Adidas Russia. Photo: Danil Golovkin ©. Sourse:

Using the image of a person should be guided by paragraph 3 of Article 152.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation "Protection of the image of a citizen". The copyright in this example belongs to the photographer who took the picture. For this, he received a fee and, depending on the arrangements, the magazine \ customer of the photo shoot will be entitled to use his photo.

Personal non-property rights

The personal non-property rights of the authors are inextricably linked with the personality of the author, therefore they cannot be transferred or waived. Personal non-property rights of authors, among other things, imply the need to indicate the author's name even when quoting a work. These include photos.

Ilya Varlamov
Photo Ilya Varlamov ©. The author is Ilya Varlamov. Source:

In one of the cases, urbanist blogger Ilya Varlamov demanded compensation for the illegal use of his photos from the Arch.<url> is a Russian Internet portal in the field of architecture.

The Internet portal posted photos of the blogger on the website, but the court considered the citation legitimate, because the link to the author (the author's right and the author's right to the name), as well as the indication of the source of borrowing were respected, which means the work was used lawfully within Article 1274 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. As a result, the blogger was refused.

Another curious incident occurred in Perm. The management of the furniture store did not order photos of goods for the assortment of the store, but instead posted photos from the website of another furniture store in Yekaterinburg on the website. Business… But the owners of the "stolen photos" saw it, filed a lawsuit. On February 6, 2017, the Intellectual Property Rights Court ruled in favor of the store in Yekaterinburg, and the court ordered the owner of the online store to pay compensation in the amount of 820,000 rubles for 82 borrowed photos, that is, ten thousand rubles for each photo. Compensation was collected from both the store owner and the entrepreneur who was the domain administrator of the defendant's website and posted these photos.

As a joke, we planned to post a photo of the Holl wardrobe from Ikea, but the management forbade us;)

Personal non - property rights include:
  • the right of authorship (the right to be recognized as the author of a work);

  • the author's right to a name (the right to use or authorize the use of the work under his own name, under a fictitious name (pseudonym) or without specifying a name, that is, anonymously);

  • the right to inviolability of the work (making changes, abbreviations and additions to the work, providing the work with illustrations, a preface, an afterword, comments or any explanations without the consent of the author);

  • the right to make the work public (to make the work available to the public for the first time by publishing it, publicly displaying it, publicly performing it, broadcasting it or by cable or by any other means).

Other rights

This is the right to remuneration for an official work, the right to recall, the right to follow, the right of access to works of fine art.

эвид Хокни «Portrait of an Artist» («Pool with Two Figures»
David Hockney «Portrait of an Artist» («Pool with Two Figures») ©, 1972. Acrylic on canvas. Source:

For other rights, we will give an example of the right of succession, as an opportunity for the author or his heirs to receive remuneration when reselling the original work. The right to follow is more clearly illustrated by the example of the sale of the original painting of the work of the most expensive English artist of our time, David Hockney, "Portrait of an Artist" ("Pool with Two Figures").

"Portrait of the Artist, or a Pool with two figures" was sold in 2018 at Christie's auction for $ 90.3 million. The author received a part of the value due to him by right of succession.


Related rights

Recall the scheme given at the beginning of the article. Related rights are intellectual property rights related to copyright. Everything is also simple with them: there are objects of related rights and subjects.

The objects of related rights are performances of performers (actors, singers, musicians), productions, phonograms, databases, messages of broadcasts of broadcasting or cable broadcasting organizations, works of science, literature and art published after their transfer to the public domain, in terms of protecting the rights of publishers of such works.

Subjects of related rights are: the performer directly (regulated by Article 1313 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation), the phonogram producer (regulated by Article 1322 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation), the database manufacturer (regulated by Article 1333 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation), the publisher of the work (regulated by Article 1337 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation), the organizer of broadcasting or cable broadcasting (Article 1329 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation).

So, we dwelt in detail on copyright and related law, talked about legislation and regulations. The most important question remains: WHERE IS the MONEY?

After creating your copyrighted work, you can evaluate it, sell it or pledge it under a license. In civil circulation, there is the concept of "alienation of an exclusive right" from the rightsholder to the acquirer.

The acquirer acquires the exclusive right to your work and can use it for any purpose: for advertising, at exhibitions or transfer it to another company. And you, according to the contract, receive a copyright fee for its alienation. Payment of remuneration under the contract may be provided in the form of fixed one-time or periodic payments, interest deductions from income (revenue) or in another form.

To grant the right to use an object of related rights, where several parties are the authors, a license agreement is concluded. We will tell you about it in a separate article.

Scheme of methods of disposal of the exclusive right

Let's summarize the results:

  • If you plan to make money on authorship, create a work, evaluate the work, find an acquirer, conclude an alienation agreement and receive your fee (most often it is one-time payments).

  • If the authors are several people, they conclude an agreement on the disposal of the right (clause 3 of Article 1229 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation).

  • The license agreement is concluded between the licensee and the licensor. The holder of the exclusive right to the result of intellectual activity or to the means of individualization (licensor) grants or undertakes to grant to the other party (licensee) the right to use such result or such means within the limits stipulated by the contract. According to the terms of the contract, this can be a fixed one–time or periodic payment, interest deductions from income (revenue) - royalties, or in another form agreed by the parties.

  • If someone has stolen your work and you decide to prohibit its use, demand its removal or compensate for damages, remember that you will have to confirm authorship. The law will protect your rights if you prove that you are the author of the work, that is, you created it first. To do this, it is necessary to fix the date of creation or publication of the content: text, training program, photos, music, etc. For all questions, contact Natalia Medik, a legal expert, will help and advise.

  • And don't forget to keep a record of copyrights and transactions. It is always important to know who owes whom and how much money, when the license period for a work (movie, TV series, music, phonogram, etc.) ends, what are the conditions for certain rights and contracts (exclusive, non-exclusive). So that you can get an answer to this question instantly, and get the royalty calculation automatically, use the MediaRights Revolution rights accounting platform. This is a convenient cloud-based solution for intellectual property rights management and transparent royalty calculation for all participants in transactions. Try 30 days for free!

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