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Russian Yandex cited weak sides in MinCult’s DMCA

Russian Ministry of Culture has proposed to restrict access to pirate web-sites available in Russia without court order. Actually there are a lot of MinCult’s ideas (1,2) aiming to protect intellectual property in Russia and fight with digital piracy. Russian company Yandex believes MinCult’s proposal provides search engines with authority and functions similar to those of courts.

Under proposal right holder would have the opportunity to require search engine to exclude links to pirate web-site from its indexing. In other words, if the right holder finds pirate website through the search engine he can require such search engine to cease find web-site where IP objects of such claiming right holder are available without his permission or authority. The search engine would have 24 hours to execute requirement of right holder.

There is also another reason and ground for restriction of access to web-site where IP objects are available to the public without right holder’s authority. If the owner or operator of such web-site did not publish its contact details, the right holder, who did not find such contact details, can make a claim to Russian Roskomnadzor. Within 10 days the web-site must delete questionable content and get in touch with state authorities. If such thing does not happen, the web-site is to be blocked under court order.

Yandex believes proposed measures duplicate effective provision of Russian current law and are excessive for owners of web-sites and for operators of search engines. “De facto the right holders aim to shift court’s functions to operators of search engines,” – stated representative from Yandex. According to him the proposal to block web-sites without contact details provides a lot of opportunities for abuse, any web-site can be blocked permanently; the proposed procedure restricting access to allegedly pirated web-sites is not transparent.