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New draft law makes work and business of news aggregators in Russia more intensive

First of all, it was decided to give definition of news aggregator. If you have software for computer or you are owner of web-site or/and one single web-page in Internet, which are used for processing and dissemination of news information in state language of Russian Federation, state languages of subjects of Russian Federation or other languages of people of Russian Federation, and if on such page or web-site can be placed advertisement in order to attract customer’s attention, residing in Russian territory and if daily quantity of visitors is more than one million Internet-users – you are news aggregator under draft law.

If you are aggregator of news you must among others: 1) do not allow using your service in order to commit a crime, to disclose a state or other protected by law secret, to disseminate materials containing calls to terrorist activity or containing justification of terrorism, to disseminate other materials of radical character, pornography, or materials containing vulgar slang; 2) verify information disseminating through your service before its dissemination; 3) do not allow using your service in order to conceal or falsify public news information under guise of authentic communications; 4) keep save disseminated information and its resources 6 months. You are also responsible for information disseminated through your service, even if it is literally reproduced news and materials or parts thereof disseminated by mass media.

Roskomnadzor also plays role under this draft law. It handles and maintains register of news aggregators. It monitors informational resources, defines quantity of visitors on daily basis. It has the right to ask for and an owner of news aggregator is obliged to provide information necessary to handle and maintain such register.

Who can be a news aggregator? First of all it cannot be a foreign state, international organisation and also organisation under their control, foreign legal entity, Russian legal entity with foreign participation, foreign citizen, Russian citizen having citizenship of other state. But it is not all. Foreign participation in news aggregator, whether directly or indirectly, cannot exceed 20% share in company. Regardless of share in company foreign persons also cannot directly or indirectly control, operate or have any influence on any decisions made by news aggregator.

If you don’t bring in order your incorporation documents under new law within six month period, you can face a fine; for natural person it is 400-500 thousands roubles, for officials it is 800-1000 thousand roubles and for legal entity it is 3-5 million roubles. If federal authority require you to cease dissemination of information and you don’t comply with requirement, the fine is as follows: for natural person it is 100-200 thousands roubles, for officials it is 300-500 thousands roubles and for legal entity it is 800-1000 thousands roubles. If you do it again, second time then the fine for natural person is 300-400 thousands roubles, for officials the fine is 600-800 thousands roubles and for legal entity the fine is 2-3 million roubles.