Warner Bros. Wins Case Against Russian Internet Pirates in Landmark Ruling

Entourage Still - H 2015

Entourage Still - H 2015

It was the first lawsuit filed directly by a Hollywood major.

Warner Bros. has won a case against Russian Internet pirates over illegal distribution of the movie Entourage.

The original filing was the first time a Hollywood major had brought a piracy case to a Russian court. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the Moscow City Court granted the company's application for an injunction.

The suit was filed against 16 Russian torrent trackers that carried illegal copies of Entourage, which was released in Russia on July 30.

Warner Bros. took advantage of Russia's tightened anti-piracy legislation, which now offers a simpler procedure for rights holders to claim copyright violations.

Under the current legislation, a rights holder can send a request to a website that carries illegitimate material, demanding its deletion, and, if the website's owner does not respond, the rights holder can go to court and demand that access to the content in question be blocked. A ruling from a court normally takes between hours and days to be enacted.

Warner Bros., which doesn't have a Russian office and operates here via a distributor, Karo Premier, filed the lawsuit directly and was represented in court by the local company Webkontrol.

The Russian business daily Vedomosti quoted Webkontrol's lawyer Lina Gevorgyan as saying that Warner Bros. will try to get the pirated resources completely shut down.

"Warner wants viewers who want to watch the movie, to watch it in theaters in the best quality rather than a poor-quality illegal copy," she said.

Earlier this year, Russian authorities said that the tightened copyright protection legislation, which was enacted in 2013, has already had a positive impact on legitimate online sales of movies.