- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 7, 2016

They’re supposed to be opposed to private property as a matter of principle, but Russia’s Communists are getting tired of capitalists ripping off their signature red star without proper payment.

The Russian news site Lenta.ru reported this week that the Communist Party — who still hold 20 percent of the seats in the national legislature — have applied for international copyright protection for the five-pointed red star that has served as a symbol of the movement since the 1917 revolution.

“Sometimes our symbols are used for commercial purposes, and the state must protect state symbols from commercial use by foreign firms,” Vadim Solovyov, a deputy in the State Duma and the party’s chief lawyer, told the news website.

Western companies that use a red star in their branding include Macy’s department stores, Heineken beer and the Italian mineral water giant San Pellegrino.

Mr. Solovyov said the party was preparing an appeal to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for copyright ownership of the star, as well as a ban of foreign companies using the symbol in Russia.

Russian-based firms would still be allowed to use the red star, so long as they do not “intentionally distort or use [it] in an incorrect form,” Mr. Solovyov added.

Details of the Lenta.ru item were reported Tuesday in the English-language Moscow Times.

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