Belarus allows parallel imports and digital piracy

A new law approved by the Belarusian parliament allows the use of digital content without the copyright owners’ consent when such holders reside in ‘unfriendly countries’ that have placed sanctions on Belarus. While the measure enables the use of software, films, music, television programmes, and other audiovisual works without copyright permission, royalties still need to be paid for such uses. The funds are to be deposited into the account of the Belarusian Patent Office, where copyright holders would be able to claim them within three years.

The law also permits parallel imports, a process in which authentic goods are brought in through alternative supply lines without the intellectual property owners’ consent. This measure applies to imports from any country, if the concerned goods are included in a list of products deemed as essential for the internal market.

The legislation is to apply until the end of 2024.