Russian Federation

[RU] Co-regulation on copyright protection online launched

IRIS 2019-1:1/33

Andrei Richter

Comenius University (Bratislava)

On 1 November 2018, Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecoms, Information Technologies and Mass Communications - a governmental watchdog authority) (see IRIS 2012-8/36) - hosted a ceremony at which major Russian audiovisual content owners co-signed (along with providers of online search engines and owners of web resources that allow for video hosting) a memorandum that aims to strengthen the protection of intellectual property of online audiovisual products.

A database of copyright-infringing webpages and audiovisual content in Russia is being established by content owners who are parties to the memorandum. This shall relate only to content owned by these parties. This non-public database should be consulted by the participating web-service providers, initially every hour, and then, after six months, every five minutes. Whenever pirated content happens to be uploaded by users of their services, it shall be removed - without a court decision - from search engines (within six hours), while access to it in Russia shall be blocked (within 24 hours).

The memorandum was co-signed by companies such as Gazprom-Media, All-Russian State Broadcasting Company, 1st Channel, Yandex, Rambler, Mail.Ru and Vkontakte in the presence of the chairman of Roskomnadzor. While Roskomnadzor is not a party to the memorandum, it agreed to be an “honest broker” in the event of disagreements between the parties.

The memorandum is open for signing by other relevant market players, and shall remain in force until 1 September 2019. No Western companies have signed it so far.


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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.