In the times of COVID-19 pandemic the internet in Russia plays huge role. Many people staying at home due to so called self-isolation having internet as the means to make their work, to communicate and make many other important things including self-entertainment. Certainly the consumption of movies, music and other entertaining content has significantly risen and also significant part of such consumed content was illegal.
The Russian ministry of culture (MinCult) considers idea to amend the current Russian copyright law. First part of amendments relate to camcording. The MinCult intends to forbid camcording for any purpose.
So, in order to bring the infringer to liability it would not be necessary to prove that the recording in cinema has been made for commercial benefit. The ministry believes it is necessary to reconsider principles of copyright protection in Russian law and to find the right balance between internet users and state regulation.
The shifting of releases to internet has caused discussion on problem of internet piracy. The ministry wants to toughen Russian antipiracy law. The Russian authorities want to reduce the term provided for deleting of illegal content from network and provide new fines for the cases when the content was not deleted within the provided period of time. But how authorities would implement the fines for pirates who hide their personalities is tricky question. Most of pirates operate their web-sites anonymously.
First part of amendments to Russian antipiracy law is amendments to Russian administrative code. This amendments include fines for failing to abide the requirements from Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor (RKN) like deleting of illegal content in time.
The second part of amendments to Russian antipiracy law is reducing of terms for deleting of illegal content. The draft laws have been not published yet. The size of new penalties and duration of new terms are not known. The amendments are supposed to enter into force in December.
But it is not all amendments. The Russian state duma has unfrozen the draft law it has frozen in 2018. This draft law is aimed to block illegal content in mobile applications. New amendments to the draft law provides RKN with new authority – to require blocking of illegal video, music and books in apps not only from their owners or developers but also from aggregators, like Google Play or App Store. The draft law has passed only first reading in Russian state duma in 2018. Currently it is anticipated that it could pass the second reading.
As always, the wording of draft law could be widely interpreting. According to the draft law the RKN could block the app under the court order. If the owner of app in question fails to respond to RKN and undertake all required actions within 24 hours, the RKN has the right to require the communication provider or the person, who provided the opportunity to make the app available, to block the illegal content. Under the person could fall Google Play or any other platform or web-site providing application for mobile device.
The developers of draft law believe it duplicated the blocking mechanism provided in antipiracy law in relation to web-sites. But authors of draft law underline that the law is not aimed to block entire application, rather it aims to block the certain illegal content in application.
If it would require blocking entire app, the YouTube should be blocked in Russia under this draft law. How it is intended to select particular illegal content in some apps it is not clear, under this draft law most application would be blocked anyway.
But some experts believe the app aggregators cooperate with right holders voluntary and delete pirate apps when the infringement of intellectual property rights is obvious. The other question is dissemination of illegal content in Telegram.
It is still officially blocked in Russia and available and the right holders often can’t do anything in order to delete content infringing their rights. And the right holder claim it is very difficult to block illegal content in Telegram, it is almost impossible.