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Russian Facebook VKontakte intends to settle copyright infringement lawsuit

Many Russian right holders have tried to “punish” Russian popular social network VKontakte – Russian Facebook – for copyright infringement. Users of this social network like Vkontakte because you can get satisfaction for your taste in music, video or even books. But in most cases right holders failed because Vkontakte’s position is always the same – “we are only informational intermediary”, therefore “we are not liable if the user posts or links to any illegal content”, “we can only takedown such content in our network”.

Recently VKontakte has been sued for copyright infringement by major Russian book publisher Eksmo. The lawsuit concerns copies of audiobook available in Vkontakte. But now claimant does not seek restriction of access to social network (under the Russian law the claimant has the right to require it as preliminary measure), the claimant wants to “punish Vkontakte by Rouble”, and in other words it seeks to impose the fine on social network. The lawsuit has been filed to Moscow town court and the court has ruled to apply preliminary measures.

The court has obliged Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor to “cease creating technical conditions enabling dissemination” of audiobooks at issue. As long as Vkontakte use https protocol, the Roskomnadzor should block entire social network because there is no technical opportunity to block certain web-page in social network. But after some time the social network has express hope that it could be possible to settle the lawsuit and the publishing house express its opinion that the social network would delete the audiobooks in at issue.

The social network has proposed the publishing house to settle the lawsuit at the trial. But social network failed to comply with court order prescribing to delete the audiobook at issue. Therefore the publishing house seeks to impose on social network the monetary fine for failure to comply with court order and does not intend to block the entire resource.

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