Belarus changes rules for rightsholders from ‘unfriendly’ countries


Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko has been a strong supporter of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that’s had a knock-on effect for his country’s international status, and sanctions on businesses operating there.

TorrentFreak reported on a new intellectual property law that has just come into force in Belarus, which essentially enables music, films, TV shows and software from countries “committing unfriendly actions” against Belarus to be used, regardless of whether they have been licensed from the rightsholders.

The report suggested that while money will be collected for this usage, which rightsholders will ultimately be able to collect, the market price will be set by the Belarussian parliament – complete with an up-to-20% cut for the country’s Patent Authority.

It’s hardly a bold prediction to suggest that music rightsholders and their representative bodies will be unimpressed by the move. Quantifying the impact is tricky though: Belarus was not included in the IFPI’s Global Music Report last year.

Written by: Stuart Dredge