How Russian Ministry of Culture proposes to fight piracy?

Russian Ministry of Culture (MinCult) believes the current Russian law, providing restriction of access to pirate web-sites or illegal content in online environment, is outdated for today realities. Now it is not enough just bring the lawsuit against copyright infringers and seeking restriction of access, it is more simple and faster to block web-site without court order. MinCult believes it is better to restrict access without participation of court order – just at the request of right holder.

This week the MinCult has submitted its vision of fight with piracy in internet, at the roundtable discussion on improving the Russian anti-piracy law the ministry has proposed three options therefore. According to MinCult the current legal mechanism, introduced about five years ago, is outdated and does not protect effectively right holders interests in internet. So, what three options MinCult has proposed?

First option provides one day to think. Under current law the right holder has the right to require the court to apply preliminary measures – temporarily restriction of access to infringing content. If the court sides with applicant, the Roskomnadzor gives three working days to web-resource owner, where infringing content is hosted, to delete content in question. If the infringing content is not deleted within three days, the access to web-resource is to be blocked by ISP.

MinCult proposes to reduce the time frames for notification of hosting provider or web-site owner. Ministry believes one day is enough and expects the restriction of access to illegal content occurs within three days minimum instead of seven days minimum as it is currently.

The second option proposed restriction of access first and then notification thereof. Under current law Moscow court adopts decision to restrict access to illegal content. Then the right holder with such decision has to file lawsuit within certain time frame. If right holder fails to file lawsuit, the restriction of access is to be revoked. According to MinCult’s option the Roskomnadzor, after the decision to restrict access has been adopted as preliminary measure, requires ISP to restrict access and then search hosting provider of illegal web-resource and require deleting the illegal content.

If the content has been deleted the access, restricted under the court order, is to be restored. The right holder files lawsuit only if the content has been not deleted. MinCult expects under this option the illegal content would be available only couple days after discovery and the right holders would save their funds because this option should reduce the quantity of lawsuits.

The third option is of drastic nature. It proposes to restrict access without participation of court and without preliminary claim on copyright infringement. Currently the right holder has to apply for preliminary measures and file lawsuit following certain time frame. The MinCult’s third option makes restriction of access to illegal content very simple and fast – blocking of so called anonymous web-sites. The web-site is anonymous if it does not respond to right holders inquiries and/or does not disclose information on address for any claims.

If the anonymous web-site fails to delete illegal content, the right holder has the right to file a claim to Roskomandzor. Roskomandzor within the one day require web-site owner or operator to delete illegal content. And if after that illegal content is still available, the ISPs must to restrict access to such web-site within one day. According to intention of MinCult the quantity of such anonymous web-sites would reduce – the owners or operators of such web-sites have to disclose themselves and respond to right holders.