Russia Amends Anti-Piracy Law to Specify Procedure for Blocking Illegal Content

Hosting providers and website owners will be equally responsible for restricting access to disputed materials.

MOSCOW -- New amendments to the Russian anti-piracy law clearly stipulate a procedure for blocking websites carrying illegitimate content, introducing fines of up to $30,000 for hosting providers and site owners.

When new anti-piracy legislation came into effect in Russia on Aug. 1, there were complaints that it didn’t make such a procedure clear enough. Now, amendments developed by the Ministry of Culture are expected to address that issue.

Under the proposed amendments, a rights holder informs the hosting provider about any possible copyright violations. The provider, in turn, is to inform the website’s owner about the complaint within 24 hours. If the owner doesn’t respond, the provider is to block access to the disputed content within the next 24 hours.

If the provider and owner don’t comply, they are facing a fine of between $9,000 (300,000 rubles) and $30,000 (1 million rubles). The anti-piracy law and the amendments apply for all kinds of online content, except for music.

Grigory Ivliyev, deputy culture minister, was quoted by business daily Vedomosti as saying that amendments regulating online music are to be considered later. According to Ivliyev, if the proposed procedures were to apply to the huge numbers of music tracks available online, dealing with all complaints wouldn’t be feasible, so some other approaches need to be found.