VOIS, Russia's newly accredited sole neighboring rights collecting society, has signed licensing agreements with the country's main FM radio stations, under which between 0.5% and 1.4% of their advertising revenues will be paid to rights holders.

Viktor Osipov, VOIS' deputy general director, tells Billboard.biz that the organization began negotiations with radio stations as soon as it obtained the government's accreditation last August and has recently signed agreements with several major stations, like Avtoradio, Radio Maximum and Love Radio. Negotiations with some others are in final stages.

"The exact figure is to be set individually for each station, depending on what proportion of its airtime is devoted to musical content," Osipov says.

Between January 2008, when amendments to Russia's copyright law were enacted, and August 2009, a loophole in the amendments allowed radio stations not to pay any royalties to rights holders, as the law stipulated that only an accredited collecting society could collect royalties from radio stations, and there were none until VOIS obtained accreditation.

Osipov added that there would be no problem in distributing royalties between rights holders. "Unlike restaurants and bars, radio stations provide very detailed statistics, and we know exactly how many times a particular song was played," he says.

According to the association of Russia's communication agencies, between January and September 2009, the country's radio stations collected around 6.5 billion roubles ($220 million) in ad revenues, which corresponds to 722 million roubles ($24.5 million) a month.

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