Russian audio-visual right holders and internet companies have signed anti-piracy memorandum

Russian major internet companies Yandex, Mail.ru, Rambler and RuTube together with Russian major audio-visual right holders Gazprom Media, National Media Group, First Channel, VGTRK, STS Media, association Internet Video and Association of movie and television producers have signed anti-piracy memorandum. This memorandum has been signed at the meeting hosted by Russian internet watchdog Roskomandzor.

Within three weeks, following the signing, the memo should enter into force and be effective. During these three weeks the right holders should compose the list of links to pirate resources and make register, containing the list of links and updating from time to time. The right holder should also decide who will be the keeper of this register and notify relevant persons in internet companies of register’s contacts for interaction with them.

According to the memo the right holders – memo signatories – have the right to require search engines de-indexing links to web-sites with illegal content and excluding them from search results. The memo specifically underlines that this right – without court order and without proving the rights in content – have only signatories of the memo. Other right holders – who did not sing this memo for any reason – should protect their rights and interests in accordance with current law and internet companies’ procedures.

According to the memo, the search engine should check the register for links each five minutes and de-index such links within six hours. It is ideal situation and execution of the memo. But there is provided so called interim period. This period lasts six month following the signing the memo. During these six months the search engines should check the register each hour. If certain link or URL is not indexing the search engine should ensure that such link or URL would not index again.

But there is option for those right holders who did not sign this memo. For such right holders the internet companies will provide special internet online form for notifications. Claims of such right holders would be considered within 24 hours. The disputes between the memo parties would be considered in Roskomnadzor. If the parties would not reach agreement within one month, the court has proper jurisdiction to resolve such dispute and the parties have the right to cease comply and execute the memo.

If the right holder – the party of memo – files a lawsuit against internet company – also the party of memo – for copyright infringement and requires to restrict access to resource of such internet company and if Roskomnadzor would not resolve such issue within 30 days, the internet company has the right to quit the memo. If the right holder requests the search engine to de-index the URL unreasonably, it has to compensate all damages linked to such false request.

But the memo signatories still did not decide who will be the keeper of register. They also do not exclude that the memo can be extended to the other types of content, like books or music, or there could be singed one more memo covering other types of content. This signing of this memo also has raised one more question – whether Gazprom Media would withdraw the lawsuit against Yandex. The Gazprom Media is not sure so far, the company intends to see how the memo will be executed by its parties.

The Roskomandzor is not party of this memo, but its chief is very glad that the memo has been signed and hopes that there would be no need to adopt new anti-piracy law. But the search engine insist such law is necessary and the memo should be reflected in law. The Roskomnadzor’s chief called the memo “the cleaning out of internet”.