On August 1 Russia began using a new law designed to reduce online copyright infringement. Many called it Russia's version of SOPA, but the system is proving to be less draconian than many had first anticipated. The goal of the new law is to identify and block (at the ISP level) sites online that traffic in copyrighted material online such as movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more. As of this Thursday the system will have been in effect for three weeks, but the results might be considered surprising.
According to TorrentFreak, rightsholders in Russia expected two file-sharing sites would be blocked by now. The file-sharing sites rutor.org and turbofilm.tv were reported by rightsholders to the authorities for infringement of their copyrights but both still remain accessible. Why? Because the law allows those accused of hosting infringing material the ability to delete the content. A source close to one of the sites tells TorrentFreak that both file-sharing sites simply chose to delete the infringing links in question and are now continuing business as usual.
Another reason that many sites remain unblocked is because rightsholders are having a tough time meeting the requirements of the law. Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation, revealed yesterday that four out of every ten blocking requests have been rejected since the law went into effect.
"I contacted the chairman of the Moscow City Court – 19 applications were submitted, 11 of them were accepted, eight were declined," Krasheninnikov said.
Rightsholders are required by law to provide documentation on the infringement in question and proof that they own the content in question. The law also apparently requires that submitted documents are properly translated. The process is also quite pricy, according to TorrentFreak.
TorrentFreak has more information on the law – including word of a petition urging that the law be repealed – here.