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Russia set to streamline anti-piracy procedure

MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is going to simplify the procedure for enforcing copyrights and related rights, an Economic Development and Trade Ministry official said Friday.

The widespread violation of intellectual property rights is a bitter point of contention in the currently stalled bilateral World Trade Organization accession talks between Russia and the United States.

The U.S. has repeatedly demanded more effective steps to curb piracy in Russia, which it said costs American companies millions of dollars in losses.

"We are now preparing an array of measures, both on the legislative and on the law-enforcement level," said Yury Lyubimov, an aide to the economic development and trade minister.

He said Article 146 of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure would be amended to refine the definition of copyright damages and simplify the procedure for assessing damages caused by copyright infringement.

He said the current definition of the size of statutory damages provides a loophole for pirates, who usually sell small quantities of counterfeit products that cannot be used as sufficient grounds for prosecution.

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