Children and pensioners to be exempted from Internet tax

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The Russian Ministry of Culture proposes to exempt children, pensioners, disabled people, pupils, students and other socially unprotected groups of the population from paying Internet taxes.

“The question about the possibilities of granting tax exemption to some Internet users is under discussion now,” announced Grigory Ivliyev, the Deputy Minister of Culture.

According to the law-in-draft, network operators can “exempt from additional payments users who in practice don’t use copyright and related rights objects,” added the official.

The idea about the Internet tax exemption appeared at the meeting of the Ministry of Culture Public Council on February 18. Anna Aybasheva, an official representative of OJSC VimpelCom (Beeline brand) stated that pupils were not factual subscribers as their parents signed a contract for them. Thus, an operator can’t distinguish a pupil from their mother or father which makes it difficult to provide privileges.

In October 2014 the Russian Union of right holders (RUR) offered a new mechanism of payment for use of the copyrighted materials in the Internet. The RUR proposes collecting taxes in dependence to the number of subscribers and dividing funds among copyright holders. Such tax collection is called “Internet tax” by the mass media.

Besides, the RUR offers to introduce a notion of global license into the Civil Code. Within the framework of a new mechanism right holders will actually resign their rights and users will be able to use holders’ materials freely. But at the same time every user is supposed to pay a monthly charge set by the government. Sergey Fedotov, the RUR Executive Director, stated such a charge might be 25 rubles ($0.4) a month.

The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, the Ministry of Economic Development and the President’s Office Comptroller General are against such an innovation. Among other opponents are some American associations of rights holders.

Text and pictures by INTERFAX.RU