Russia's Anti-Piracy Law to Be Toughened, Producing Exec Says

'Stalingrad'

It will stipulate shutting down websites for "repeated" and "blatant" violation

Russia's anti-piracy law is to be toughened up before December, according to the head of the national film and TV producers' association.

Alexander Akopov, the organization's head, was quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying that amendments to the Russian anti-piracy legislation will be adopted this fall in a move to further crack down on illegal online distribution of video content.

According to Akopov, the anti-piracy law's new version will introduce tough measures. "The idea is that the concepts of 'blatant violation' and 'repeated violation' are to be introduced, which would lead to immediately shutting down [pirate] websites," he said.

Akopov added that rights holders are divided on whether end users would be made responsible for downloading pirated content and that he opposes the idea and believes that more attention should be paid to search engines' activities.

"We are in negotiations with search engines and are looking for common solutions," he said.

Russian rights holders have long complained about local search engines' refusal to exclude apparently pirated content from their search results.

A year ago, the Russian anti-piracy law was already made stricter, with Roskomnadzor, the communications watch dog, given authority to shut down websites allegedly containing pirated materials before court decisions, at rights holders' requests. However, it still takes time before a pirated website can be shut down.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that the 2013 amendments have helped to reduce online piracy, drawing the example of last year's top grossing movie, Fyodor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad, which was removed from several websites in response to the rights holder's demand.

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