In the five years that Russia has anti-piracy legislation, the consumption of illegal content is still too large, according to the owners. Their main claim is now addressed to the search engine “Yandex”
The most actively assert their rights in the Runet part of the holding “Gazprom-Media” channel TNT
(Photo: Irina Bujor / “Kommersant”)
The big way
This Wednesday marks five years in Russia earned the so-called anti-piracy legislation — amendments to the law “On information, information technologies and protection of information”, as well as the Civil, Civil procedural and Arbitration procedural codes. 1 Aug 2013 the right holders the first opportunity for the court to block illegally posted, according to them, video content on the Internet. Adopted a year later, changes have extended this practice to all other objects of copyright and related rights with the exception of photos: music, literary works, software, etc.
From 1 may 2015 in Russia began to act normal about eternal blocking pirate sites. Such decision the court may render in the case, if the franchisor failed to prove in court that illegal content was placed on the same Internet site two times or more. During this time, on the basis of 309 judicial decisions forever was blocked 1182 site, have informed RBC in the press service of Roscomnadzor, which is responsible for blocking sites and making them in the appropriate register.
Since October of last year, copyright holders have the opportunity to block through the courts not only to sites hosting illegal content, but copies of them, so called mirror. The decision on the recognition of the site of the mirror, according to the law, accepts the Ministry of communications. Since the action of the rule, according to Roskomnadzor, blocked 2421 the mirror sites, the decision to block on a permanent basis in respect of which earlier took the court.
In November came into force the law about the limitation of VPN services and anonymizers to bypass banned websites. These amendments affected including search engines: at the request of Roskomnadzor, they must connect to a Federal information system, where all banned in Russia sites, and then provide restricted access to them. The searchers were in no hurry to fulfill these requirements since the law has not been spelled out penalties to them for non-compliance. The system is now connected only Mail.Ru Group and developed by Rostelecom search engine Sputnik, RBC said in Roskomnadzor.
At the end of June penalties for search engines was still provided, but the relevant amendments to the Code of administrative offences will come into force only at the end of September.
For a hosting answer
All the cases on protection of copyright and related rights in the Internet since August 2013, considers the Moscow city court. He gives at the request of the right holder determination on the preliminary blocking of websites or pages with controversial content, and then considers the claims. According to Roskomnadzor, in five years, the Agency received 3.7 million definitions of the Moscow city court. On the court’s website as of July 24, 2018 RBC found information only about 2.8 thousand definitions on preliminary injunctive measures and on 2 claims. In a press-service of the Moscow city court on the question whether all definitions published in mid-July, replied in the affirmative.
The most actively assert their rights in the Runet part of the holding “Gazprom-Media” channel TNT. For five years the broadcaster, as calculated by RBC, filed in the court 447 statements on the adoption of interim measures and 489 claims. For “Gazprom-Media” content protection is one of the important directions because in the year of the holding company produces 26 thousand hours of free content and there was not a single project, pirate copies which would not appear in the Network, said the representative of “Gazprom-Media”. The holding with regard to its owned channels, “Friday” and “Match TV” initiated in Moscow city court about a third of all proceedings on the violation of intellectual property rights.
Defendants in cases of infringement of copyright and related rights were mostly foreign hosting company. The anti-piracy law allows the licensor to not sue the site owner, to establish the identity which is often not possible, and an information intermediary — hosting provider. No foreign hosting providers or the vast majority of their domestic peers did not bother to attend a meeting of the Moscow city court. For example, from August 2013 to August 2014 there were only three cases when the defendant appeared in court.
In five years, most often copyright holders have tried to prosecute American cloud service CloudFlare — he was listed as a defendant in lawsuits 554. In second place — the Russian free hosting uCoz (“yukoz Media”) and its founder Compubyte Ltd from the British virgin Islands. These two structures was filed more than 300 lawsuits. In third place — the hosting provider is Inferno Solutions, the statement of claim appearing as a British 3NT Solutions LLP. It is from April 2018, under the control of the citizen of Belarus Andrei Paroni are listed in the British registry of companies.
Social network “Vkontakte”, which in the early 2010s was perceived as one of the main hotbeds of piracy during these years was filed only two lawsuits: the first in 2016 from the publisher AST (the parties then entered into a settlement agreement, and the disputed content was removed), the second — in 2017 from the company’s “Music law”, the owner of the rights on the songs of Viktor Tsoi (court the plaintiff was denied because the soundtracks were removed from the Network before filing a claim).
“The results are there, but not efficiency”
The fight against piracy stimulates the growth of legal online video market in Russia, attendance of the legal online sites is constantly growing, said the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov. In 2017, the revenue system increased in comparison with the previous year, according to TMT Consulting, 60%, to RUB 7.7 bn, with revenues from monthly fees increased by 91% to RUB 4.5 billion.
“The results are there, but not efficiency”, — says Dmitry Sychugov, CEO of Amedia TV (manages service Amediateka, which in the Moscow city court received 169 applications for interim measures and 60 claims). Existing holders tools, according to Sychugova, “lagging behind in technical terms from advanced solutions of the pirates”: the majority of users continue to turn to pirate sites to watch video content.
The existing mechanism to combat illegal content in Runet is still “a sieve”, says Maxim Rusakov, digital Director of the TV channel “Friday” (five years filed, according to the calculations of RBC, 80 applications on interim measures and 100 claims). According to him, such large resources, as the App Store, YouTube and Google to actively support the holders and cover the “holes in the sieve”, whereas “Yandex” does not.
According to the Association for the protection of copyright on the Internet, 60-80% of average traffic on a pirate website comes from search results. “And if Google removes pirate issue and resources in their search results, their level does not exceed 5-7%, “Yandex”, the figure in the case of literary works 30-40%”, — complains CEO of the Association Maxim Rabika. “The issuance of “Yandex” to remove content is impossible, whether it is at least five times a pirate” — I agree hares.
In may of this year “Yandex” has openly accused of aiding the pirates by representatives of the largest Russian online cinema.
“Yandex” as no one is interested in the speedy creation of an ecosystem of safe legal video on the Internet, responded to a request to RBC representative of the company Ilya Grabowski. In his opinion, the existing legislative measures “adequately” protect the interests of copyright holders. The representative of the search engine declined to comment on the data Association.
The joy of “the Mare and trophoplasm frogs”
In November 2015, the Moscow city court ruled on eternal lock of the largest Russian torrent-share Rutracker.org. The court granted the claims of the publishing house “Eksmo” and the Russian “daughter” Warner Music due to violations of service copyright on a novel by Victor Pelevin’s “the Caretaker” and composition of rapper Guf. The process has become a high-profile challenge the decision of the court tried both the users of the service and the musical group “the Mare and tropopause toad” post their works on Rutracker.org.
Access Rutracker on a regular basis was limited only in January 2016. After blocking in Russia the audience of the site has decreased, but still amounts to millions of people, according to research company Mediascope. For the first half of 2018, the monthly audience of the website on desktops in cities with population of 100 thousand people on average reached almost 2 million Russians 12-64 years. In 2015 this figure was four times higher — nearly 8 million Russians. The owners Rutracker.org posted detailed instructions before blocking, as it can be circumvented.
Another forever locked in Russia, the service portal Dailymotion.com after the eternal lock has lost his entire audience. The decision of the Moscow city court against the “French YouTube” was delivered in December 2016 on the claim of the TV channel “Friday”, whose program “Revizorro”, “Magazzino”, “Tomboy” illegally posted the video. By the end of 2016, according to the measurements Mediascope, the monthly audience of the site, the average was 725 thousand inhabitants cities with the population from 100 thousand people. Data from February 2017, after the resource was blocked, Mediascope no longer gives, for all subsequent months, the number of people coming to this site, was negligible.