10 top changes rating in RF legislation for information sphere

Summarizing the results of 2011 Salans, International juridical agency, collected the rating of 10 top-changes in RF legislation in Information Systems, Information Technologies and mass communications spheres.

ummarizing the results of 2011 Salans, International juridical agency, collected the rating of 10 top-changes in RF legislation in Information Systems, Information Technologies and mass communications spheres.

  • Electronic signature

A new law about electronic signature came into effect, that considerably enlarged its field of application in civil circulation. A new law creates various types of electronic signature depending on its reliability and its difficulty of receiving: Simple; Enhanced qualified; Enhanced unqualified;
Simple electronic signature identifies only the receiver of the information, but not the firmness of the information. Enhanced unqualified electronic signature identifies the person who signed an electronic document, and also allows discovering the fact of introduction of alterations made to the document after its signing. Enhanced qualified electronic signature has two extra features. First, to create and check it, certified means are used, second, the key of electronic signature is specified in qualification certificate handed out by accreditation certification authority. By operation of law qualified electronic signature is juridically equal to an own signature.

  • Electronic money

Due to this law for the first time issues of electronic money usage have been juridically regulated. Electronic money transactions are done by electronic operators (only credit organizations) with electronic money usage that is without opening a bank account. One of the electronic transaction parties should be an individual.
While money transfer for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs identification is obligatory, that is why they always have to use personified electronic means. Individuals can use non-personified electronic means, if electronic money balance exceeds 40 thousand roubles during 1 calendar month. Total limit allowed in such cases should be no more than 100 thousand roubles. 

  • Intellectual rights

According to these acts Intellectual rights court is being created in Russia that is going to be a problem-oriented arbitration court to arbitrate some disputes about intellectual rights protection. The court should be formed no later than 1 February 2013. Originally the court is going to arbitrate disputes mainly connected with contestations about decisions made by federal agencies of the executive power, and as a court of cassations – all the disputes about intellectual property rights defense related to arbitration courts competency.
All the cases will be considered either by the board or the Court presidium. Judge boards should be formed by the Presiding Judge in respect of judges’ specialization. All in all 30 persons judges were allotted for the Court. When filling a vacancy in Court a candidate’s necessary specialization should be taken into account.

  • United intellectual space

First, each part of the Agreement is obliged to envisage in its legislation that it provides the same level of guard and defense for persons and objects of intellectual property from other countries-participants as it provides for its own persons and intellectual property assets;
Second, applying to trademarks a regional principle of exhaustion within Euro-Asian states has been established (instead of the national).
The last statement comes of force on 1 January 2012 and means that the goods legally introduced into the turnover, for example within the territory of Kazakhstan can be imported and offered for sale in Russia. 

  • Provider’s responsibility

Criteria for making Internet-provider free from liability for the content placed by users, are the following:
- Non-receiving the profit by the provider from the business activity connected with using exclusive rights for other subjects which persons who were using the provider’s services performed.
- Limitation of the amount of the information placed, its availability for uncertain circle of users.
presence of user’s obligations in user’s agreement of following the Russian Federation legislation at placing the content and unconditional provider’s right to eliminate the illegally placed content;
- Absence of technological conditions (programmes) contributing to exclusive rights violation;
- Presence of special effective programmes allowing to warn, track and remove placed counterfeit works.

  • Licensing and ordering

The presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of RF acknowledge the legitimacy from the point of view of tax law of an agreement scheme where relations with the company producing a certain product were regulated by two agreements of different law nature: a sublicensed agreement for using the trademark and an agreement for the order of production with further selling it.

  • Personal data

The list of information is enlarged which operators should provide to Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communication as a notice of intent to have personal data processed. Now the list includes the data about encryption tools existence, contact data of the person responsible for personal data processing, information about presence or absence of trans-boundary data transfer.

  • Criminal responsibility in computer information sphere

Considerable alterations were made to the part of Criminal Code of the RF “Crimes in computer information sphere”. In particular computer information term was defined as “data (messages, information), presented as electric signals, regardless of means of storing them, processing and transferring them”.
Formal components of crime are envisaged:
Unauthorized access to computer information that caused large damage made out of mercenary interest;
Creation, use, and distribution of detrimental computer programs made by a group of people by previous concert or an organized group or an individual making use of the official position, and equally made out of mercenary interest;    
In case if the mentioned crimes resulted in severe consequences or created the threat of their occurrence they are qualified as severe ones. With that existing earlier reservation about careless guilt is excluded.

  • Internet websites licensing

The law was mainly supplemented with articles setting the licensing procedure for television and radio broadcasting. There are alterations that touched Internet-sphere as well: network edition term was introduced, that implies a website in the Internet, non-registered as a means of media. With that in the law it is stated directly that an Internet site that was not registered as a means of mass media, is not a means of mass media.

  • Russia’s joining WTO: regulation of intellectual property rights

According to the liabilities taken after joining WTO Russia cancels licenses on importing more than a dozen of production types with cryptographic components, envisaging for such production a simpler notification procedure. In this list there is such a type as consumer goods:  
These goods that meet the following demands:
the goods are available without limitation all over the Russian Federation territory by means of unlimited sale from stockists by any of the enumerated lists (by cash, e-mail, electronic order, telephone);
-    Cryptographic component of goods can be easily changed by the user;
-    Goods are designed for the user to install without further significant support by the seller;
-    If necessary, the data about goods components will be provided by the request from the authorized bodies for checking goods meeting the first three conditions. 
-    The notification procedure itself has not changed much compared to the current regulation of Custom Union.
-    Russia will have to follow all the provisions of TRIPS agreement with that Russian regulation of intellectual property was brought into correspondence with TRIPS Agreement in advance.