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Internet companies call for revision of anti-pirate bill

June 26, 2013, 23:58 UTC+3

Earlier, the Internet companies had submitted their amendments to the bill which, however, were ignored by the deputies

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MOSCOW, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s biggest Internet companies and associations have called on the authorities to revise the Duma-adopted anti-pirate bill, which was also approved by the Federation Council, the Russian parliament’s upper house, and which is aimed at fighting piracy in the Internet. Their open letter was published on the website of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications on Wednesday.

Last week, the Russian State Duma passed a bill on protection of copyright in the sphere of cinema, television and video production in the second and third readings simultaneously. The law is intended to fight distribution of pirate products in the Internet and block access to any pirate content.

According to deputy Pavel Krasheninnikov (the United Russia Party), the head of the State Duma Committee for Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation, all cases of copyright breaches will be heard at the Moscow city court which will also receive electronic applications from victims of copyright violations.

For his part, Alexey Mitrofanov, a deputy from A Just Russia party who heads the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, IT and Communications, clarified that all pirate content would be blocked until a court hearing. However, pirate content users will go away with impunity.

The open letter to the Russian authorities was signed by the Group, Yandex, Aficha-Rambler-SUP, Google Russia, RU-Center, the Fund for assistance in the development of Internet technologies and infrastructure, Wikimedia Russia, OZON.RU and the Association of Internet Publishers. According to them, the Russian segment of the worldwide web is unlikely to benefit from the bill that allows blocking websites with pirate content.

"The bill lays down broad opportunities for abuse and dishonest competition,” the open letter said. The experience of countries which have similar mechanisms of fighting the pirate content shows that almost half of requests are sent to competitors of legal servers.

The letter’s authors also paid attention to the fact that the said nothing about the possibility of legal use of copyright items without permission of copyright holders.

Earlier, the Internet companies had submitted their amendments to the bill which, however, were ignored by the deputies.

“We deem it necessary to revise the mechanisms suggested by the bill and take account of the interests of the Russian media and Internet business on the basis of comprehensive analysis of economic and social consequences,” the open letter said.

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