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Russian Law Banning Profanity In The Arts Takes Effect

A new law in Russia that bans the use of "foul words" in the arts came into force on July 1.

The law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May, imposes fines on the authors or promoters of books, music, theater performances, or films that contain profanity.

The law allows foul words to appear in books or on CDs but such items must be sealed and carry special warnings.

Some movies in Russia have had to have been reedited or lines of foul language voiced over to comply with the law.

On June 30, authors and entertainers across Russia protested the bill by holding final public readings and performances using the original language of the source material, without being fined.

A definitive list of words considered offensive has not been agreed. A panel of experts will decide future violations on a case-by-case basis.