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Governmental legislative commission upheld draft law aimed to block mirrors of web-sites

If a web-site is available and operating in Russia and does not comply with Russian law, like copyright, it can be blocked. In the context of copyright the blocking relates most likely to torrent sites or pirate sites. But in most cases blocked sites “moves” to new domain and a new mirror of web-site appears. Russian legislators and right holders don’t like it. It means they must do all work again.

Therefore, in order to avoid additional work and costs, the state authorities drafted new law providing the blocking of mirror-websites if their activity infringes Russian copyright law. The draft law proposes new definition for Russian law – “derivative website in Internet”, so called mirror of website. The draft law also provides procedure for blocking of access to such website under right holders’ requirement in Moscow court.

Under new draft search engines are obliged to delete data with regard to websites, “where repeatedly and illegally has been placed an information, containing intellectual property objects, the access has been permanently forbidden thereto under the court order”, from search results. Russian government informed that its “legislative commission has approved draft law preventing illegal dissemination and exploitation of audiovisual works in internet”.

Russian ministry of communication (MinCom) developed this draft law taking into account current practice and experience in dealing with permanent blocking of web-sites. The duly performed analysis revealed that it is impossible to promptly implement necessary measures in relation to mirrors of blocked pirated web-sites created automatically. It is also not good “when search engines continue indexing of blocked web-sites”.

MinCom’s chief Nikiforov believes it is a very good draft law. He also underlined that “technologies will always ahead of politicians”, i.e. legislators, and “it is not the end result – it is a process”. This draft law will be considered at the meeting of Russian government.

How it is suggested to implement new draft law? First of all an initial decision of Moscow court to block certain web-site is necessary. If after the blocking of pirate web-site its mirror appears and right holders or Roskomnadzor knows it, then Moscow court should give a court order without special sitting. Such procedure must improve and facilitate current mechanisms aimed to prevent unauthorised dissemination and exploitation of intellectual property objects in internet. Besides, new research has shown that more than half of blocked web-sites in Russia are still available for internet users.