Moscow Court Permanently Shuts Down 11 Pirate Websites

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The court responded to a complaint from Timur Bekmambetov's Bazelevs.

A Moscow city court has permanently shut down 11 Russian websites with pirated content, reacting to a complaint from Bazelevs Distribution, the distribution wing of Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs.

The ruling creates a precedent for permanently closing down pirated websites.

"This ruling is giving us optimism," said Vladislav Momdzhyan, Bazelevs Distribution's general director. "It was important for us to create a precedent. A regulation allowing courts to permanently shut down websites was enacted quite recently, and we needed to test it."

Amendments to Russia's copyright law, allowing courts to permanently shut down websites for repeated copyright violations, came into force on May 1, 2015, and were expected to improve legislation adopted two years before.

Among the websites that were shut down by the court's decision are rutor.org, which had a monthly audience of 23.2 million users, according to the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor. Kinozal.tv (19 million monthly users) and bobfilm.net (14.5 million monthly users) were also shuttered. 

According to Momdzhyan, the company has normally been able to settle all issues related to illegitimate distribution of its content before filing a lawsuit.

"[But] this case concerned the most blatant offenders who have repeatedly refused to react to our inquiries," he explained.

"We are glad that now we have an instrument that helps to make the fight [against online piracy] more effective."

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