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Russian Rights Holders and Online Companies Sign Cooperation Memo

The move is seen as a major step toward creating a legal market.

MOSCOW -- In a major step toward creating a legal online video market in Russia, local rights holders and online companies have signed a cooperation memo.

The agreement is also designed to help with copyright observance and fighting piracy.

The memo stipulates that signee online companies will block or delete illegitimate content within 24 hours of receiving a relevant request from a rights holder if a specific Web address is provided or "in reasonable time" if no address is provided.

Online companies that signed the document also promised to create specific email addresses for rights holders' claims.

The document specifies what information a rights holder complaining about copyright violations needs to provide in order to avoid false copyright violation claims.

The signees, including Channel One, VGTRK, Mosfilm, the National Media Group, Mail.Ru, Rutube.ru and Ivi.ru, also agreed to consider the introduction of a content identification system that would help prevent the uploading of illegal material. They will study the financial and technical aspects of introducing such a system through March 2014.

The text of the memo was prepared by Roskomnadzor, the media watchdog. The agency’s head, Alexander Zharov, was quoted by ProfiCinema.ru as saying that the signing of the memo came as a result of long and difficult negotiations.

However, he added, it is too early to consider the issue resolved, because several large Internet companies, including Yandex, Google and Vkontakte, have yet to sign the document.