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Duma skeptical web users may face punishment soon for downloading piratical content

June 08, 2013, 4:41 UTC+3
Drapeko agrees that the bill will come under massive pressures from the Internet community
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MOSCOW, June 8 (Itar-Tass) - There is much skepticism in the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, Internet users may be made answerable soon for downloading piratical content, because at this point the task looks too complex technologically. Establishing certain requirements Internet providers will have to meet appears to be more effective in fighting the abuse of copyright laws.

The State Duma has before it a newly submitted bill on blocking access to piratical information resources. For instance, amendments will enable authors to not only employ the mechanism of protecting their rights with the participation of providers, but also create a basis for using the mechanism to file requests at the communications watchdog Roskomnadzor for blocking access to sites spreading such information on the basis of a court ruling.

“We are making the first steps,” one of the bill’s authors, first deputy chairman of the State Duma’s committee for culture, actress Yelena Drapeko (of A Just Russia party) told Itar-Tass on Friday. Tracking the IP-addresses of users would be feasible in cases where people commit crimes, but ordinary users of illegal content are very hard to identify.

“We are largely unprepared from the technological point of view, but we are not an exception, the whole world has this problem,” Drapeko said. “I very much doubt any responsibility of Internet users will be established. We shall begin with providers, because they are controllable.”

Asked why the bill’s authors suggested acting through providers and not establishing responsible for the owners of sites, Drapeko explained that some sites may be beyond the reach of Russia’s legislation. She forecasts that Russia may come to terms with the Europeans and the Americans, because “this is our common interest.”

Drapeko agrees that the bill will come under massive pressures from the Internet community.

“We have hit the nail on the head. There are their incomes involved - from the placement of ads and commercials on sites, and so on,” she said.

In drafting the document three parliamentary factions - A Just Russia, United Russia and the Communists - presented a common front.

“We believe that culture workers deserve protection,” Drapeko said.

She recalled that the question of protecting copyrights was high on the agenda of the president’s latest meeting with film industry workers.

“Film-making is a very costly business. There are millions, sometimes billions involved. Whenever such products are stolen, it’s gross embezzlement,” Drapeko said.



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