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Russian Ally Belarus Just Straight-Up Legalized Piracy Of Music And Other Media Created In ‘Unfriendly’ Nations

Belarus recently legalized the ability to pirate music and other media from nations that are deemed as “unfriendly.”

The Eastern European nation is notably one of Russia’s allies. This new law also comes after the United States sanctioned Belarus over the war in Ukraine. President Joe Biden has prevented material exports to the country. Amazon, Intel, Airbnb, and other companies also cut off their support of Belarus.

According to Vice, the temporary law was passed in December and is currently in effect until late 2024. Currently, it applies to all forms of digital goods, including music, films, tv shows, software, and more under that umbrella.

The “unfriendly” nation piracy law includes “foreign states that commit unfriendly actions against Belarusian legal entities and (or) individuals,” which, in this case, very well could include the US and its allies.

“The law states that the government will still collect royalties for the use of that material, but the royalties will be held by the patent authority,” Vice stated. “If the rights holders don’t collect the royalties within three years—unlikely for companies barred by law from doing business in Belarus—the funds will be absorbed by the government budget.”

Belarus’ law also states that it doesn’t need the consent of the original rights holders to import physical items due to “a critical shortage in the domestic market of food and other products.”