Russia Blocks Vivendi's DailyMotion, Citing Copyright Breach

MOSCOW, RUSSIA -A general view of Red square and Kremlin-Getty-H 2016
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Access to YouTube's French competitor was permanently blocked following a complaint from Gazprom's TV division.

Russia has permanently blocked access to online video service DailyMotion, which has often been called the French YouTube, owned by Vivendi, following a complaint from Gazprom's media division that the site was illegally hosting TV content.

The Moscow city court ruled that DailyMotion had repeatedly violated Russia's copyright law by hosting shows from Russian TV network Pyatnitsya!, owned by Gazprom's TV arm Gazprom Media.

Throughout 2016, Gazprom Media repeatedly complained about its shows being illegally uploaded to DailyMotion. Some of the content was deleted after court rulings, but kept reappearing.

In December, a final warning was issued to DailyMotion, to which the company, which doesn't have an office in Russia, did not react, according to Russian reports.

Under Russian copyright law, the repeated violations led to the permanent blocking of access to DailyMotion in Russia, and local internet providers will have to comply with the ruling within a week.

A spokesman for DailyMotion told The Hollywood Reporter that the company had no knowledge of any ongoing court procedure against it and was going to "take all necessary steps to make contact with relevant authorities in Russia to resolve the issue."

Controlled by Canal Plus and Universal Music Group owner Vivendi, DailyMotion is the world's third-largest video hosting service behind YouTube and Vimeo.