Digital Rights Law adopted by the Russian Parliament

According to a press release made on the Duma’s official website on March 12, Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, has voted to pass a new digital rights legislation by October of the current year.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma, stated that “The concept of “digital rights” will be enshrined in the Civil Code. The law forms the basis for the development of the digital economy in the Russian Federation and is aimed at the implementation of the President’s Address to the Federal Assembly, “

The regulations were introduced by the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin , the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Peter Tolstoy , the Chairman of the Committee on State Building and Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov and a number of other parliamentarians.

The law brings in a new article, 141.1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. It also determines how digital rights can be exercised and transferred, as well form rules for digital transactions, including contracts.

The press note stated that Digital rights are projected to mean special “obligations and other rights, the content and conditions of which are determined in accordance with the rules of the information system that meets the statutory requirements; the exercise, disposal, including transfer, pledge, encumbrance of a digital right by other means or restriction of disposal thereof is possible only in the information system without recourse to a third party.”

Aleksandr Zhuravlev, a senior partner at a Moscow-based legal firm, told Russian-language crypto news outlet Forklog that though post bringing in the legislation the limitations still remain, the country’s approach was remarkably better than some others countries.
Zhuravlev stated that “Of course the current project has flaws […] that could lead to ambiguity in some areas: determining the legal nature of cryptocurrencies and mining, as well as several other aspects (digital financial asset inheritance etc.),” he told Forklog, However, it’s worth noting that Russia has not gone down the route of China or India, which have selected a prohibitive approach to digital assets.”

The press note further stated that “In order to facilitate the execution of transactions with digital rights, the draft law also improves the rules of civil law on the form of transactions, including contracts. In particular, it is proposed to equate the expression in the face of one’s will with the help of electronic or other similar technical means to a simple written transaction. At the same time, the requirement to have a signature is considered fulfilled if any method is used to reliably determine the person who has expressed will (these rules do not apply to the preparation of wills). “

The law further states that “at meetings at which a decision is taken by absentee voting, such voting may be carried out using electronic or other technical means”.

Vyacheslav Volodin noted that the law on “ digital rights” “forms the basis for the development of the digital economy. This is a new area for our rights, because it is important for us to consolidate the basic concepts.”

He added that “President Vladimir Putin in his Address to the Federal Assembly outlined the development of the digital economy as a priority, having instructed to adopt the necessary laws in the spring session.” Further adding that “New technologies are being actively introduced into economic life both in our country and abroad, but legal protection issues remained unresolved. After the adoption of the law, citizens and legal entities will receive additional guarantees, allowing them to participate more actively in the development of the economy of the future,”

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