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One of the ways to fight piracy in social networks: closing communities

Right holders in Russia don’t like the fact that their content, including music or movies, can be used in social networks without any payment and permission. Social networks prescribe in their terms and conditions an obligation of user to upload only legal content or clear copyright prior to use any copyrighted material in network. But mostly users of social networks don’t read, at least carefully, or don’t understand all terms and conditions.

And even if such users upload movies or music in order to let other users enjoy it, right holder prior to claim its rights in content or infringement of such rights and require deleting of such content, he must find this content, what is not so easy taking into account how many pages people create in social networks and upload content per single day.

Besides, in many cases social networks are only intermediaries, with rare exceptions. Especially in Russia it is not so easy for right holders to bring social network, like Russian Facebook Vkontakte, to justice, because users can enjoy right holders content in plenty. In Russia there is legal status – informational intermediary. It must be aware of copyright infringement, oftentimes with proofs, prior to make any decision.

How people in social networks can enjoy music or movies? They can unite in or find community where administrator or members of such community will place different content for “consuming”. If community counts thousands of members, owners or administrators of such community can make money on advertisement. Certainly right holders will not receive anything from ads revenue, despite the fact that their content attracts audience for advertisers.

Therefore right holders endeavour to handle “unauthorised consuming” of their content in social networks. One group of such right holders requested to delete approximately 10 groups in Russian Facebook, Vkontakte. They have found groups, where users of social network can watch videos; each of these groups has more than one million members. Right holders asked the groups to delete illegal content, but without success. And then they asked social network to undertake relevant measures.

Social network Vkontakte believes targeted measures are more appropriate. In most cases Vkontakte refuses to delete communities, it is excessive measure under their opinion. Network deletes videos mentioned by right holders only if they have provided evidences of infringement. Such communities can place content of other right holders, who did not claim copyright infringement for different causes.