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Russian Copyright Law Governs Disposition of Infringement Suit Tried in U.S. Court
Description Appeals court held that under international conventions, Russian copyright law would govern the protection due to those works created in Russia. The Russian copyright owner could sue to enforce the law against an infringer in U.S. courts.
Topic International Law
Key Words International Copyright, Conflict of Laws
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Itar-Tass Russian News Agency sued Kurier, a Russian-language newspaper in New York that copied articles originally published by Itar-Tass, for copyright violation. District court held for Itar-Tass; Kurier appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Under the Berne Convention and Universal Copyright Convention, the issue of ownership of copyrights in works created by Russian nationals and first published in Russia would be determined under the law of Russia, which was the country of origin. The owner of the copyright, including one under Russian law, may sue for infringement in U.S. courts if it has standing, which Itar-Tass does since the articles were copied in the U.S. Under Russian law, Itar-Tass did not own copyright in the text of the articles, but had protectable rights in their arrangement and display.
Citation Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc., 153 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir., 1998)

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