Russian Internet Firms Blame Users for Piracy

Russia’s leading Internet companies are asking the government to target users committing piracy and not the providers that give them the bandwidth or services. Five companies including Yandex and Google Russia, believe that individuals should "take more responsibility for what they are uploading" and ultimately be held responsible for it. Companies say that monitoring everything that is uploaded is an impossible task. While the companies are talking about piracy, what they really mean is users sharing content that might violate a copyright like videos uploaded to YouTube.

"The problem of responsibility for sharing copyrighted content isn’t new," Ekaterina Fadeeva, director of’s legal department, told RT. "As it hasn’t been decided on the legislative level, the courts have become decisive in such cases. But that’s not the right path."

Fadeeva goes on to say that the position of providers and content aggregators is not contrary to the rights of copyright holders, and that they are open to cooperation.

"We are open to dialogue and prefer not to use aggressive means to solve these problems. Some schemes have been working successfully for a while now. For example, when an author complains to a web platform that’s hosting his material illegally, it gets deleted," Fadeeva said.

But Copyright holders say that companies like Google Russia have created a comfortable environment for infringers. They also allege that these companies are making money off of illegal downloads through various revenue streams like advertising.

Russia’s State Duma recently adopted a bill calling for stricter licensing requirements for producers of optical media with content protected by copyright.


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