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Users petition against the Internet tax

A petition against the introduction of anti-piracy Internet tax in Russia was launched at the Russian Social Initiative website.

If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures within a year, it will be reviewed by an expert committee chaired by the Minister for Open Government Affairs Mikhail Abyzov.


The Petition

According to the authors of the petition, charging all Internet users a monthly fee “contradicts the Russian Federation legislation, because most users will have to pay a tax on content they never use.”

“This taxation would benefit neither the entire population of the Russian Federation nor even all the Internet users in Russia, but a very limited group of people,” – the online petition says. “Besides, there is no guarantee that right-holders would actually receive any portion of those payments.”

“It is necessary to stop the bill introducing a tax on downloading works from the Internet, because that contradicts the laws of Russian Federation.”

The petitioners suggest that “the dedicated Duma committees draft alternative bills, which do not infringe on legislation and citizen rights.”

The Russian Union of Right-holders

InOctobertheRussianUnionofRight-holders suggested a new way to charge for the use of copyrighted online content. The telecom companies would be charged based on the number of their customers, and the proceeds would be split among the right-holders.

In that case all users will have to pay the “Internet tax”, whether they download anything or not.

In the beginning of December the largest Internet providers addressed the President a letter, asking not to tax the Internet users for the benefit of copyrighters, because that contradicts both the Constitution and the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, violates the privacy rights as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization standards.