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Russian Law: Parliament In Action
July 4, 2013 10:54

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1. Amnesty for economic crimes scheduled to start on July 4

The Russian parliament has approved the draft law on amnesty for minor economic crimes submitted by the president’s executive office.

The move was proposed by Boris Titov, former head of the Business Russia, or Delovaya Rossiya, a non-profit association of businesses.

In 2012, he was appointed a business ombudsman to protect the rights and the interests of entrepreneurs.

The amnesty is seen as a major step to improve confidence and woo private investors.

Around 10,000 people are expected to be freed from jail, and many more will see their suspended sentences cancelled.

2. MPs know better

The Russian Parliament has passed in first reading a bill to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A behemoth organization has been the pillar of Russian science in the Soviet times but is increasingly viewed as obsolete and unable to catch up with the times.

According to the draft law, the three out of six state academies – the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Sciences would be merged into one umbrella public structure. The new Russian Academy of Sciences would not be able to control its vast network of property. This function would be handed over to a new federal body called the Agency of Science Institutions of the RAS.

The overhaul has encountered fierce broad resistance from the scientists and some political groups, including the Russian Communist Party.

They say the proposed reform is being pushed through too quickly, without proper considerations of the suggestions given by the scientific community.

3. Better copyright protection or curtailing Internet freedoms?

Russian president has signed into law the so called ‘anti-pirate’ bill which its authors say is aimed at protecting intellectual property.

Russia has been often criticized for lack of measures to enforce copyright laws.

Starting from August 1, 2013, websites that upload video content illegally will be first warned, and then banned and fined. The law does not apply to books, which has angered writers.

The law does not apply to those who download illegal content, either.

Russia’s major Internet companies, like Yandex, have lambasted the new law, and some online libraries have ‘gone on strike’ in protest. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Parliament in Action     

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