Online Movie Sales Double in Russia Following Tightened Piracy Laws

Associated Press

The number of users buying online content has grown to 12 million since the 2013 legislation came into effect.

Online sales of movies have been on the rise in Russia since the country's anti-piracy law was tightened in 2013.

Alexei Volin, deputy communications minister, told Russian radio station Kommersant FM that online sales of movies and television programs had doubled over the last 18 months, while the number of users buying legitimate online content has risen dramatically to 12 million people.

"This is an excellent result, of which we can be proud," Volin said.

Under amendments to the anti-piracy legislation, which came into effect in August 2013, websites containing illegitimate content have become easier to block, and the procedure for rights holders to file complaints has become simple and efficient.

Meanwhile, in a bid to further boost legitimate online sales of movies, music and books, the Russian government is considering the introduction of a "universal license," which would give a user access to unlimited online content for a fixed annual fee.

Industry players said the measure could have a major impact on Russia's digital content market.

Pavel Katkov, president of Russia's rights holders union, told Kommersant FM that the introduction of a universal license would lead to a 400 percent growth in legitimate digital sales.

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