Mikhalkov bit off at restaurants | Latest news The Moscow Post
28 September 2021

Mikhalkov "bit off" at restaurants

As it is believed on the market, structures close to Nikita Mikhalkov are trying to additionally earn extra money on already distressed cafes and restaurants.

According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, the Russian Union of Copyright Holders (CPR), the Russian Copyright Society (RAO) and the All-Russian Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which some associate with director Nikita Mikhalkov, staged another "ches" on restaurants and cafes in the country. Agents of organizations go to institutions and just like "secret buyers," record on photos and videos how background music plays there, and then demand from businessmen a fee for copyright on compositions. Those who do not agree to conclude a contract with them are dragged by the courts. In total, organizations earn millions from such activities, but the rights owners themselves are content with "pathetic" thousands.

According to "Rusprofail", only from the beginning of this year and only WIPO acted as a plaintiff in 273 cases, most of which relate to claims from catering owners for the use of musical compositions. The amounts are different - from 40 thousand rubles to half a million. The amount of funds required depends on the space area. For example, as of 2020, in restaurants with an area of ​ ​ up to 70 square meters. m monthly payment was equal to 40 rubles per 1 square meters. m

Attention is drawn to the fact that money is shaking from institutions located in different parts of the country, which indicates the presence of a real agent network. Moreover, for some cafes and restaurants, the amount that WIPO wants to recover may be critical. For example, Moscow PIR LLC already has losses of 1.4 million rubles, and 50 thousand are asked for it. Nizhny Novgorod Tsar LLC has a profit of a modest 29 thousand rubles, and demand the same 50 thousand from it. Hermes-Rest from Perm "got" only 43 thousand rubles, has revenue of 93 thousand.

It is no secret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions, the restaurant business turned out to be one of the most affected sectors. The few organizations that have now remained afloat have now begun to finish off CPR, RAO and WIPO.

However, those restaurateurs who have concluded contracts with organizations are not very happy with what is happening. Due to holes in the legislation, restaurateurs are required to independently calculate and provide a report on the amount of use of thousands of 2-5 minute musical compositions for each month of work. At the same time, you have to pay for DJ sets, and even for the songs of guest cover groups. Often, restaurateurs have to suffer heavy losses and hire new staff, especially for reporting. And in the end, we, ordinary visitors, pay for this, because all expenses are included in the price of dishes.

According to the authors of the "Nezygar" telegram channel, allegedly now only about 10% of institutions legally use compositions with the payment of all deductions. Only at minimum rates upon completion of the market redistribution, restaurateurs will lose almost 2.5 billion rubles, but when all requirements are fulfilled, the amount increases to 36 billion, up to half of which will settle in the pockets of law firms specially included in the scheme through agreements with RAO, WIPO and CPR.  

Who shares everything?

But no one will argue that recognition of intellectual labor is not free - the matter is good. That's just how many of these billions-millions ultimately go to the copyright holders themselves?

One of the main players in this market is Fonmix, to which, in particular, WIPO recommends joining. Only the rights holders themselves are unhappy with cooperation with him. So, "Medusa" (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation), the head of RDS Records Dmitry Seregin said that even with new technology he received less than 10 thousand rubles a month from WIPO "from all countries, from all restaurants, from all stores, from all outlets." But in his catalog there are more than ten thousand compositions: Benny Benassi, In-grid, Savage, Gabin.

Fonmix is the main product of Formax, which recently gained control over the largest owner of the country's audio archive - JSC Firm Melody. In March 2020, this news blew up the market: a company with unique archives was sold to a commercial structure for only 330 million rubles, which, according to experts, is equal to the cost of only two buildings that belong to Melody. Thus, the file cabinet of the compositions "Melodies" passed, it turns out, for free.

And she moved into completely random hands: one of the founders of Formax, Valery Osipov, heads the Peter the Great Foundation, founded by the very RAO and WIPO.

In addition, previously the head of WIPO was Andrei Krichevsky. He is now listed as the director of Firm Melody JSC.

In addition, Formax belongs to First Digital Aggregator LLC and Mikhail Sukontsev, about whom little is known. But his image walks on the network, where he stands near a Mercedes-Benz car, which belongs to Alexei Klevtsov, an old partner of Andrei Krichevsky.

It is known that the latter was one of the proxies of the former head of the RAO Sergey Fedorov, but after that he called him the "customer" of his criminal case. It seems that Krichevsky simply moved to the side of Maxim Dmitriev, who became the chairman of the RAO after Fedorov.

What does Mikhalkov have to do with?

It is believed that the cold in relations between Fedorov and Krichevsky ran after the latter began to lobby for the idea of ​ ​ combining RAO, WIPO with the Russian Union of Copyright Holders (CPR) into one organization. The then deputy head of RAO Krichevsky decided to hold a conference of these three organizations, where, in fact, they announced that they were united.

However, the creation of the association was recognized as illegitimate, Krichevsky began to be accused of unfriendly absorption. According to RIA "Novosti", after he was even attacked - unknown people broke their ribs and nose. Although after that there was talk that Krichevsky himself could direct this whole situation.

Fedotov eventually managed to "eliminate": the court found him guilty of fraud on an especially large scale and elected a sentence of 1.5 years in prison. And then he became a defendant in another case, where he was already accused of fictitious payments identified by the results of an audit of the company. About this wrote RIA "Novosti".

Fedotov was Mikhalkov's man - the director first actively stood up for a long-time comrade and even announced his readiness to petition for him if necessary.

The name Mikhalkovo surfaced in the history of 2016, when the DIA demanded that law enforcement officers check the leadership of the CPR, RAO and WIPO for involvement in the withdrawal of more than 1.84 billion rubles from Mostransbank, "Kommersant" reported. In that statement, they emphasized that the president of the CPR is Nikita Mikhalkov himself, and the board is his son Artem. The founders of the CPR are RAO, WIPO and the Union of Filmmakers.

Probably, realizing that they got close to him, Mikhalkov went "to the world" with Dmitriev and Krichevsky. The latter soon began to regularly appear with Mikhalkov at public events. Earlier, The Moscow Post told in detail about all these changes.

And since then, Mikhalkov seems to have found a new profitable niche - earnings from playing compositions in catering. The director, as is believed, tightly tied to specialized associations was able to privatize the whole process in some way, leaving with the nose of the copyright holders themselves. And of course, ordinary citizens who simply go to institutions to quench hunger.

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