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Internet companies oppose the blocking of pirate sites in Russia out of court

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Internet companies oppose the blocking of pirate sites in Russia out of court
March 17 State Duma Adopted in first reading amendments to the law "On Information…", according to which "mirrors" of sites banned in Russia are blocked in pre-trial order. The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media is the author of this document; the main purpose of the amendments is to "suppress illegal distribution and use of audiovisual works on the Internet. These measures, according to the authors, should prevent the illegal distribution of Russian films.
Own amendments prepared and the Ministry of Culture headed by Vladimir Medinsky. But the proposals of the Ministry of Culture to simplify the procedure for blocking not only the "mirrors" of resources blocked in Russia, but also pirate sites with unlicensed content at the request of the rights holder without going to court did not find understanding of the market participants, write "Vedomosti." The initiative is opposed by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC), which includes more than 100 Internet companies, including Mail.ru Group, Google, eBay, Ozon, Rambler Co, RBC, Microsoft.
This association sent a letter to Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin explaining the RAEC’s position. "The extrajudicial procedure is dangerous because the decision is made by an administrative body, which, unlike the court, is not independent"" the letter reads. Since the site owner does not participate in the blocking process, he cannot exercise his constitutional right to protection, according to representatives of the association. The initiative itself, according to RAEC members, creates a dangerous precedent, as an extrajudicial procedure is supposed to be applied to economic disputes and not for the protection of human rights and freedoms or state security.
If these amendments are supported by the State Duma, it is likely that other market participants will demand the introduction of extrajudicial procedures to protect their rights. The problem is that the Ministry of Culture, not the court, will determine whether the site is pirated or not. "The rights holder applies to the ministry, which maintains a register of national films, it sends a letter to Roskomnadzor, from which operators are passed requirements to block" – said the head of the Ministry of Culture Natalia Romashova. According to RAEC, this is unacceptable.
Yandex" agrees with the opinion of the RAEC (the company is not a member of this organization). According to Asya Melkumova, a representative of Yandex, only a court can determine whether a copyright violation has occurred. According to a source close to the State Duma, now without the court blocked only sites that threaten the health and life of people or the security of the country. And the amendments, if passed, could completely change the order of things.
As for the Ministry of Culture, yesterday a representative of the ministry said that he did not know anything about the RAEC letter. He also said that the amendments "are still being worked on" and that they are already supported by representatives of the film industry. Nevertheless, the RAEC is trying to convey its position to the State Duma deputies. "We want to ensure that when the bill is sent to the State Duma, the deputies already have information about our position, " – ". said RAEC director Sergey Plugotarenko.

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