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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Russia Declared War on Online Piracy

Cybercrime department of the Russian Interior Ministry will roll out a program meant to force Internet service providers to take responsibility for their subscribers’ habits, which may include downloading copyrighted films and kids porno.
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All unauthorized material found online will be documented, according to Zhannat Seralinov, the head of the Russia’s Interior Ministry’s cybercrime department for the Moscow region. Press secretary for the same department, Larisa Zhukova, promised that the checks of the local networks of the ISPs would be carried out throughout the country. The authorities expect to see the end result somewhere in the end of this month.

The former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev introduced changes to the Civil Code, and passed on to the Parliament. This fall they are expected to become law. This campaign is aimed at checking how much piracy exists on the Russia’s local networks. Aleksey Dmitriev, the head of the major Russian broadband provider Iskratelecom, says that there is actually nothing you are able to do on the local network that you can’t do on the Internet. He adds that in case the Interior Ministry is willing to take the Internet service providers under control, it will be surprised to see the lack of real power. Indeed, it’s much easier to deal with thousands of broadband providers than millions of subscribers sharing unauthorized content.

After the industry experts have revised the changes in the country’s Civil Code, they made a conclusion that they are a threat to neither businesses nor subscribers. The new legislation won’t punish broadband providers who didn’t know, and in fact didn’t have to know about unauthorized file-sharing, as well as didn’t take part in the creation of the unauthorized material. The only thing they have to do is to remove the infringing material upon receiving a written notice from rights owners.

Under the current Russian anti-piracy legislation, people may end up to prison for 6 years for downloading copyrighted content or distributing kids porno. That’s why a lot of Russian Internet service providers have disabled all file-sharing services. Meanwhile, there are ISPs who don’t care much about the proposed law. For instance, one of the minor Ural ISPs Interra has recently launched their own BitTorrent tracker to satisfy their subscribers’ demand. Interra’s owner, Vitaly Listratkin, is easy when talking about this fact – he takes the side of common sense, saying that if the entertainment industry fails to provide the opportunity to the region’s citizens to watch the movies in the theatres, they will turn to piracy anyway, and that won’t be the fault of the users.

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