And finally… booty galore

Belarus has effectively legalised piracy of copyrighted content from “unfriendly countries”, including films, TV shows and music.

A new temporary copyright law has been approved by Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka and comes into effect this week, according to the Russian office of Deutsche Welle.

It will allow for copyrighted works from countries “committing unfriendly actions” to be imported into Belarus without the permission of the copyright holders.

Importers will be required to pay royalties to Belarus’ National Centre of Intellectual Property, which will hold onto the funds for three years.

During those three years, copyright holders will be able to claim compensation. After the three-year period has expired, the funds will be claimed by the Belarusian government.

However, western media distributors are expected to have difficulties claiming funds from sanctioned Belarus — and there are question marks over how the “market value” of copyrighted works will be determined.

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