Major Russian Rights Holders to Create Search Engine for Pirated Content

The measure aims to curb online piracy.

MOSCOW -- Major Russian film and TV companies, including Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs, are creating a search engine that will locate illegitimate content online in a bid to fight widespread online piracy.

"The idea is to combine efforts and avoid duplication," Alexander Akopov, president of the TV series producer A-Media, was quoted as saying in the Russian daily Izvestiya. "[We want to] have one operator that would be in charge of locating unlicensed content."

According to Akopov, the operator intends to search for pirated content and provide links to rights holders who, in turn, will make decisions based on the information. “I hope that information will be updated in real time,” he noted.

In addition to Bazelevs and A-Media, the list of Russian rights holders involved in the project includes Sistema Mass Media, which controls the film production company Central Partnership, and Direktsiya Kino, the film production wing of Russia’s top TV station, Channel One.

Meanwhile, one other big breakthrough in anti-piracy efforts comes amid mutual understanding with Russia’s largest social networking website Vkontakte, the local equivalent of Facebook, which many rights holders have dubbed the country's main pirate.

Recently, Vkontakte agreed to delete some illegitimate content at a request from A-Media, Akopov said. Previously, the social networking website was reluctant to respond to rights holders’ requests, claiming that it had no control over users' pirated content.