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The decree “On declaring the scientific, literary, musical and art works the national heritage” established

26 November 1918

On November 26, 1918 the Council of the Peoples’ Commissars of the RSFSR issued a decree “On declaring scientific, literary, musical and art works the national heritage”.

In accordance with the decree it became possible to declare the published and not published works of the dead and living authors the heritage of the RSFSR. The works were declared the national heritage and the organizations using them had to pay the authors’ emoluments according to the fixed rates.  

The dead authors’ heirs’ rights were not usually recognized in accordance with the Council of the Peoples’ Commissars decree of April 28, 1918 “About the inheritance abolishment”. Though the heirs obtained a support in the form of a living wage but the circle of heirs or the expiration date of the succession were not determined.

The authors whose works were not announced the national heritage reserved all the rights on them. The decree established that “the works not declared the national heritage could not be multiplied and distributed without the author’s agreement”. The author’s rights for the works not declared the national heritage remained reserved during 6 months after the author’s death. Enjoying the granted authority, the Peoples’ Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR declared the national heritage the works of 47 writers and 17 composers.

In 1925-1928 the author’s rights Principles were approved. Later they developed into a law of RSFSR “On the author’s rights” (of October 8, 1928). In accordance with it the authors had the exclusive rights for their works valuable for 25 years from the day of the work’s first edition (publishing). From 1928 the author’s rights were reserved during the whole author’s life. The author’s rights were transferred to the heirs for 15 years after the author’s death.

Lit.: Антимонов Б. С., Флейшиц Е. А. Авторское право. М., 1957; Рузакова О. А. Право интеллектуальной собственности. М., 2004.