Russia Eyes Improved Anti-Piracy Measures (But Not for Hollywood Movies)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Still 6 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

A new proposal stipulates more protection from online piracy only for homemade movies.

Russia's culture ministry has prepared a proposal aimed at fighting online movie piracy, but it will only concern local movies, leaving out Hollywood fare.

Under the proposal, published on the government's website, rights holders will be able to complain to the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor about illegal copies of their movies, and the agency will shut down the websites with illegitimate content within 24 hours. Unlike under the existing procedure, no court order will be required.

However, only movies that have "a national film certificate," issued to local films and majority co-productions, will be eligible for the new protection measures. Hollywood and foreign movies, which in 2016 accounted for 82 percent of all box-office gross in Russia, will be left out.

Russia's five top-grossing movies of this year so far all come from Hollywood, with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in the top slot.

The culture ministry's move doesn't come as surprising as in recent years, the agency has been actively trying to protect homemade movies from Hollywood competition. Two years ago, the agency was given authority to reschedule Hollywood and foreign movies if their release dates collided with those of major local films, and has lately been pushing for a major hike in the exhibition license fee, from which homemade films will be exempt.

A timeframe for adoption of the new proposal has not yet been set.

Universal and Fox declined to comment. IFTA and MPAA did not respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.