Russia Touts Fewer Illegal Downloads of 'Game of Thrones' Episodes

HBO

For years, Russia's online piracy record has been poor, and the U.S. has traditionally put the country on the list of notorious markets for copyright violations.

Despite Russia’s reputation for rampant online piracy, local users accounted for only 3 percent of illegal downloads of Game of Thrones' new episodes leaked to the Internet, according to Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor.

"Russia didn't [even] make the top 10 countries with the highest number of illegal downloads of Game of Thrones' fifth season," the agency said on its website.

According to Roskomnadzor, no copyright violation claims regarding the series' fifth season have been submitted, but previously, the organization blocked pirated distribution of the series' four previous seasons on 52 Russian websites.

For years, Russia's online piracy record has been poor, and the United States Trade Representative has traditionally put Russia on the list of notorious markets for copyright violations, alongside China and Pakistan.

However, most recently, the situation with online piracy has begun to improve thanks to the enactment of a set of amendments to Russia's copyright law back in 2013.

Last month, Alexei Volin, Russia's deputy communications minister, said online sales of movies and television programs had doubled over the last 18 months, thanks to stricter copyright protection.

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular foreign TV series in Russia. The fifth season's first episode is currently available on the online video service Amediateka.

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