The Ministry of culture ordered online cinemas to obtain a distribution certificate

A distribution certificate is required to not only to show films in cinemas, but also for online display. Relevant explanations issued, the Ministry of culture

Distribution certificates must be obtained for the rental of films not only in Russian cinema, but also for their display on the Internet. Relevant explanations to the government decree on the rules for issue of rolling documents published by the Ministry of culture.

Changes in the “Rules for issuing, refusal and revoking the license to the film” entered into force on 31 December 2016. The rental license, under these amendments, shall be issued for a screening of the film in the theater, at the movie rental on a tangible medium and at a screening of “other technical means”.

Under “other technical means”, as noted by the Ministry of culture, understood as “any method of showing a film to the public with the use of technical means, including the use of the Internet”. That is, “activities of the online cinemas to bring films to the public through online viewing (VOD streaming)” regulated by the new amendments.

Exceptions are made for TV channels and online versions of the channels. Under the new rules does not apply also online stores that sell movies. Previously a distribution certificate was to receive the only distributors of films in cinemas.

The General Director of online cinema MEGOGO in Russia Viktor Chekanov believes that the amendments “linked” hands across the VOD sector and tilting it in development for 5-7 years ago.

“This is another absurd bureaucratic initiative, which is not good the market will not, on the contrary, will harm the entire industry. According to this resolution, the rental license shall be received by the holders exceptional, i.e. exclusive rights to the content. This means that in a short time in Russia may disappear as a kind of catch-up broadcast (“behind the broadcast”) and online translation games and festival events,” said Chekanov in a conversation with RBC.

The head of the online cinema stressed that the new rules also simplify the existence of pirate services.

In November 2016 in the state Duma introduced amendments to existing legislation regulating the activities of online cinemas. The document proposes to ban foreigners from owning more than 20% of the services, whose daily audience in the course of a month is more than 100 thousand users in the whole territory of Russia and more than 20 thousand — in one region of the country. Online movie theaters will also need to register in the registry of Roscomnadzor.

In the opinion of the General counsel of the online cinema Tvzavr Alexander Ryleva, the decision of the government allowed a substitution of concepts, there are legal inaccuracies. According to article 3 of the Federal law “On state support of cinematography of the Russian Federation” the movie — a public demonstration of the film performed in the cinema, on broadcast, cable, satellite television and other technical means. According to paragraph 2 of article 1270 of the RF Civil code is a public demonstration of a work by technical means in a place opened for free visiting, or in a place where there is a significant number of persons not belonging to ordinary family circle.

“Bringing film to the public on the Internet may not fall within the definition of “screening”, as in this case, the film demonstrates the individual or the family, and not publicly,” said Ryleev.

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