Participation of Elena Voinikanis in the VII International IP Forum (MSLA)
Elena Voinikanis made a presentation on the rights of viewers of theatrical performances, in particular the right to make video recordings.
2019 was declared the year of the theatre in Russia, so the first panel session of the forum, moderated by the president of the Court for Intellectual Property Rights Lyudmila Novoselova, addressed Intellectual Property in Theatrical Arts.
The answer to the question of what the audience may and may not do is obvious only with regard to watching cinematic films. The ban on video recording of films is virtually absolute. Not only is the viewer prohibited from distributing a recording on the Internet, i.e. making it public, but also from making a video recording for his or her personal use. Things are not that clear as far as theatrical performances are concerned. The rules for visiting theaters almost always contain the following standard provision: "To ensure protection of copyright, viewers are prohibited from making video, film, photo and audio recordings of the show without a written consent of the management of the theater." Does such a general prohibition comply with the Civil Code? The speaker described two possible interpretations of the relevant provisions of the Civil Code, which lead to opposite conclusions. To eliminate legal uncertainty, amendments to the law will be needed. For the time being, social norms and the goodwill of the viewers themselves are to be relied upon.