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. Russian Defence Firms Produce Fakes, Minister Says

A legal DVD in Russia, costs between 10 and 20 dollars (8 and 16 euros) in Russia - three or five times more than a pirated one.

Moscow (AFP) Sep 20, 2005
Russian defence companies are hiding workshops that feed the country's massive industry for pirated goods, thwarting official efforts to crack down on the trade, Russia's interior ministry said Tuesday.

"Some of the counterfeit production is being made in commercial structures installed in secret and top-secret companies," the ministry's economic security department said in a written statement.

The pirate production in these companies consisted mainly of DVDs, CDs and CD-ROMs, the statement said.

"Some military sector companies have set up so-called 'reconversion' operations to produce pirated industrial or food products and are using military depots or hangars for this purpose," the statement continued.

In the civilian sector, police have raided four workshops for pirated goods and seized six million illegal items since the start of the year, Sergei Meshcheryakov, head of the economic security department said at a press conference.

But only 11 out of 446 people found guilty of pirating offences were given prison sentences, with the others receiving suspended sentences or having to pay fines, Meshcheryakov said.

The official blamed "legal loopholes that do not allow for adequate punishment for the crimes commmitted."

A legal DVD in Russia, costs between 10 and 20 dollars (8 and 16 euros) in Russia - three or five times more than a pirated one.

Intellectual property rights are one of the main obstacles in talks over Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) as Russia figures on a United States government list of countries where they are not enforced.

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Walker's World: Putinism Rules
Washington (UPI) Sep 19, 2005
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not lose much sleep over the announcement that his former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has finally confirmed that he will make a run for the presidency in the 2008 election.

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