The Russian Copyright Owners' Union (RSP) has been appointed as the country's sole organization for collecting levies on recordable media and related equipment, but the decision has left a sour taste in the mouths of its competitors.

The appointment was announced yesterday (Oct. 27) on the official web site of Rosokhrankultura, the government agency in charge of culture responsible for choosing the levy collecting organization.

ROSP, the Russian Society for managing performers' rights and RSP's principal contender for the role, has said it will challenge the government decision in court on the grounds that several procedures in the decision-making process were not obeyed, including a month-long delay in announcing the appointment.

RSP, which was created last year and is yet to begin operating, is presided by Nikita Mikhalkov, veteran director and head of the Russian filmmakers union.

Reacting to the appointment, ROSP's executive director Anzhelika Korotayeva told Russian publication www.gazeta.ru that the only reason why RSP was chosen was because Mikhalkov is its president.

Earlier this month, the Russian government set a 1% levy on all types of recordable media and related equipment. It is yet to be confirmed how RSP will distribute the funds generated between its copyright owners.