Russian lawmakers want to fight U.S. sanctions by stealing American intellectual property

Meduza
10:04, 13 april 2018

Federal lawmakers have developed a plan to retaliate against the latest U.S. sanctions: transform Russia into a pirate state. Draft legislation submitted to the State Duma on Friday would give the government the authority to waive copyright restrictions on select foreign products, “allowing” Russian enterprises to produce those goods without the consent of their patent holders abroad. “The exhaustion of exclusive rights,” lawmakers say, could be used against the U.S. and other hostile states.

“In other words, we’ll gut-punch the Americans, since it’s precisely intellectual property that is responsible for all their success and, above all, the domination of the Anglo-Saxon and Western world. And we’d strike a blow against this right,” explained Mikhail Emelyanov, the deputy chairman of the Duma’s Legislation Committee.

The same draft bill would also grant the government the right to issue more restrictions on American imports (such as alcohol, tobacco, medicines, and foods), limit the work of international rating agencies in Russia, ban certain foreign software, prohibit foreigners from participating in privatizations, suspend cooperation in various sectors (including nuclear power, aviation, and rocketry), and more.