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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Russia Hoist withits own Petardski

As RIA Novosti reports, Russia is now being victimized by the same total disregard for copyright protection that it has used to victimize the rest of the world for decades, laying bare the fact that Russia doesn't even dominate the world market for its famous AK-47 assault rifle.

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia accounts for only 10-12% of about 1 million Kalashnikov assault rifles that are sold on the world market every year, the CEO of the Izhmash concern said Saturday.

"The rest are unlicensed copies," Vladimir Grodetsky said, adding that there was not a single license agreement conforming to the norms of international law, specifically on the protection of Russia's intellectual property rights in small arms and light weapons production.

"In some instances, the terms of such agreements have expired, while in others different-caliber weapons are being made since all licenses for the production of Kalashnikov automatic rifles were issued decades ago," he said.

According to Russia's state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the AK is currently in service in the armed forces of more than 50 countries. The Kalashnikov rifle is symbolically reflected in the national coats of arms of six states.

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