25 Fordham L. Rev. 469 (1956-1957)
The Soviet Press and Copyright Legislation: Some Legal Concepts

handle is hein.journals/flr25 and id is 499 raw text is: THE SOVIET PRESS AND COPYRIGHT LEGISLATION:
SOME LEGAL CONCEPTS
SERGE L. LEV1TSKY*
J'HTDS article is devoted to some aspects of the legal concept of free-
dom of the press in the Soviet Union and the penal protection of
its exercise, as well as a discussion of some legal problems arising in
connection with the application of Soviet copyright legislation.'
I. LEGAL CONCEPT OF FREEDOM OF PRESS
Chapter X of the Soviet Constitution of 1936 devotes sixteen articles
to fundamental rights and duties of citizens.' Article 125 covers free-
dom of the press. It is worded as follows:
In conformity with the interests of the working people and in order to strengthen the
socialist system, citizens of the USSR are guaranteed by law:
a) freedom of speech;
b) freedom of press;
c) freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
d) freedom of street processions and demonstrations.
These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working p2ople and
their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets,
communication facilities, and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.3
The text of this article itself contains the limits to the exercise of these
rights: they may be exercised only in conformity with the interests of
the working people and it is the Party which determines what these
interests are, in its capacity as the leading core of the workers.4 On
the other hand, the clause concerning the strengthening of the socialist
system implies that freedom of the press may not be used against the
Soviet State and the government which are the embodiments of the social-
ist regime, nor against the Communist Party which is its guardian. Thus,
according to the direct meaning of the Constitution, the population is
merely granted the right to uphold the established system, not to criticize
it. The nature of the Soviet freedom of the press was best expressed by
Andrei Vyshinsky, in his textbook The Law of the Soviet State:
In our state, naturally, there is and can be no place for freedom of speech, press,
and so on for the foes of socialism. Every sort of attempt on their part to utilize to
* Assistant Professor, The Institute of Contemporary Russian Studies, Fordham Univer-
sity.
1. The material contained in this article is based upon a chapter in the author's forth-
coming book, The Soviet Press.
2.* Konstitutsiya (Osnovnoy Zakon) USSR arts. 118-33 (1947).
3. Id. art. 125. (Emphasis added.)
4. Id. art. 126.

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