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IRIS 2017-8:1/33

Russian Federation

Law to block pirate mirror sites

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Andrei Richter

Media Academy Bratislava

After being adopted by the State Duma on 23 June 2017 and approved by the Federation Council on 28 June 2017, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on 1 July 2017 signed into force a new law enabling the country to quickly block derivative sites designed to circumvent the blocking of copyright-infringing websites. The amendments to the Federal Statute “On Information, information technologies and on the protection of information” (see IRIS 2014-3/40) will enable pirate mirror, proxy and other derivative sites to be blocked quickly by ISPs.

Following the relevant decisions of the Moscow City Court (the court dealing with copyright-related matters - see IRIS 2013-8/33), sites shall be approved for “eternal” blocking by the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications, which shall then order the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecoms, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (or Roskomnadzor) - a governmental watchdog authority under the authority of the same ministry (see IRIS 2012-8/36) - to contact ISPs to ensure that all access is blocked. Search engines will also be compelled to remove all alternatives from their search results.

The amendments also deal with all kinds of derivative sites that are “confusingly similar” to other sites on the Internet to which access is currently restricted due to the repeated and improper placement of information concerning objects subject to copyright (or related rights), or the information needed to acquire illegal online access to them. In relation to those sites the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications will send a notification in both Russian and English to the operator of the suspected pirate site. Roskomnadzor will also receive a copy; the ISP or ISPs in question will then be ordered to block access to the sites concerned within 24 hours.

The law requires search engines to remove all blocked sites from search results. All advertising that informs Internet users of the whereabouts of a blocked site’s mirror must also be removed. Each step in the “chain” (i.e. Moscow City Court/Ministry/Roskomnadzor/ISPs) shall take a maximum of twenty-four hours.

The amendments come into force on 1 October 2017.

N 156-ФЗ О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон «Об информации, информационных технологиях и о защите информации» RU
  Federal Statute N. 156-FZ of 1 July 2017 on amendments to the Federal Statute “On Information, information technologies and on protection of information”, Rossiyskaya gazeta daily newspaper, 4 July 2017