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Film pirates may be put behind bars - newspaper

May 30, 2013, 7:14 UTC+3

The suggestion mentioned the big portals like YouTube and V Kontakte

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MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) - The norms of the law regulating actions against web sites containing child pornography may be applied to sites with unlicensed content, including torrent-trackers, the Izvestia daily writes on Thursday.

The ministry of culture, the newspaper reports, has suggested a punishment of two to five years imprisonment for those distributing pirate content. The suggestion mentioned the big portals like YouTube and V Kontakte.

“It is important to be fighting not only those who is making illegal recordings at cinemas, but also with those who distribute pirate versions on the Internet,” a source at the ministry of culture said. “We suggest a criminal responsibility for systematic violations of copyright both for owners of torrents and for users. We are discussing the suggestion. I would say they will not go with just paying fines. Either the portal is blocked fully, or they receive a term from two to five years.”

Under the current version of the bill, users of file exchange portals will be fined for refusal to delete or block a pirate content - it will be an equal responsibility for users and owners or providers. For individuals a fine will be 5,000 roubles, while for officials - up to 50,000, and for companies - up to one million roubles. A communications operator will be responsible for identifying a violator and for notifying him or her the illegally placed information should be deleted. If within 24 hours the user does not undertake necessary measures, within 12 hours the operator will have to stop the violation of copyright - to block distribution of the file.

Yandex and Mail.Ru search engines criticised the bill. The Internet companies are sure the newly introduced tough measures are attempts of copyright holders to settle their own commercial problems at the expense of the resources.

“Criminal responsibility is for violations in the economy if the amounts are high,” Amedia’s President Alexander Akopov said. “The damage from the torrents and similar resources is very high. The lack of fighting pirates in the film sector, we believe, causes damage for the national economy of about two billion dollars a year. Intellectual property should be protected - this is the XXI century economy. And the question how appropriate the suggested measures are is something law experts should say.”

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