Almost all public appearances of the controversial politician Renato Usatii during the election campaign and further were accompanied by the interpretations of the well-known songs. Usatii is accused by Roman Bilik and Russian rock band "Zveri" of violation of the copyright of the song "Raioni, kvartali", launched in 2004. The case Bilik vs. Usatii took place in 2015 and was examined in two instances: the Buiucani District Court and the Chisinau Court of Appeals. Both courts issued their decisions in Usatii’s favor.
He performed the song on 13 concerts, declaring it the Party’s anthem
In December 2015 the Chisinau Court of Appeals examined the case Roman of Bilik and the rock band "Zveri" against Usatii over violating the copyright and related rights on the song "Raioni, Kvartali". Bilik demanded to remove the illegal videos with the song from the internet and receive a payment of the moral injury and material damage.
The Buiucani District Court previously dismissed their lawsuit, because it set that Usatii got all the rights from the Association "Copyright and Related Rights”.
The song "Raioni, kvartali" was launched in 2004. Later Usatii sang it without the band’s permission on at least 13 concerts he organized in Moldova. Usatii also changed the lyrics and said the song was the anthem of his political party.
The band’s lawyer claimed that the copyrights belong only to the band. According to the lawyer, Usatii had used the song to make his own personality and the electoral campaign more successful.
The group also claimed that Usatii had to pay 500 000 lei to Roman Bilik and band "Zveri" each for the copyright violation. As for the moral injury, Bilik and “Zveri” requested 1 million lei each.
The Chisinau Court of Appeals considered to dismiss the lawsuit because Usatii received the rights on performing the song from the Association "Copyright and Related Rights" and paid about 75 thousand for that. The Association, in its turn, paid the money to the copyright owners.
Also, it has been established that the song was sang before the electoral campaign and couldn’t cause moral injury or material damages to the band.
The judges considered that the lyrics can be changed during the live performance and it is a common practice, so Usatii did it unmaliciously.
The Chisinau Court of Appeals decision can be appealed at the Supreme Court of Justice.
The hearing of this case was chaired by Iulia Cimpoi. She previously worked at the Supreme Court of Justice, now she activates at the Chisinau Court of Appeals. There were also another 2 judges: Natalia Simciuc and Nicolae Craiu.
Usatii was presented by Igor Pohila, about who Crime Moldova wrote in the article about the case Global Prestservice LLC vs. Renato Usatii.
See the movie with Usatii singing that song: