Russian firms say not responsible for web piracy

October 15, 2010
Five of Russia's Internet giants, including networking site VKontakte seen here, have said they cannot be held responsible for copyright violations on their sites and urged rapid changes to outdated laws, in an unprecedented joint statement on Friday.

Five of Russia's Internet giants have said they cannot be held responsible for copyright violations on their sites and urged rapid changes to outdated laws, in an unprecedented joint statement on Friday.

The search engines and mail providers, including the Russian unit of , said that the legal framework had not kept up with the rapid expansion of the Internet in Russia over the last year.

Everything possible was done by the companies to prevent copyright infringements on their sites, said the firms which also included Mail.Ru, networking site VKontakte and search engines Yandex and Rambler.

"We believe that when the procedures are being observed (to prevent copyright violations) Internet services cannot be held responsible for content uploaded by users," they said in the statement published on their websites.

They said that modern Russian law did not explain clearly who must take responsibility when the rights of the copyright holder are infringed.

"In Europe, the United States and other countries the legal question about restricting the responsibility of the Internet media in these situations was decided more than 10 years ago."

Alexander Akopov the head of Amedia, one of the main Russian television production firms, however responded by telling the Vedomosti newspaper that it was up to the Internet providers to control the content.

But the firms' statement said the companies had neither the legal obligation nor the technical capacity "to control the actions of each user and evaluate their legality or illegality".

The statement warned that rightsholders in Russia have been placing the responsibility for illegal content on the Internet firms rather than those who upload the materials.

The Internet has expanded at huge speed in over the last years, with Russian-language blogging and attracting millions of users.

Russian Internet firms have also become more active on the international market.

Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST) has built up a stake in Facebook, started in 2009 with a 1.96 percent holding. It is believed to have built that level up further since.

Explore further: 4 countries clear hurdle for non-Latin Web names

Related Stories

4 countries clear hurdle for non-Latin Web names

January 21, 2010

(AP) -- Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to win preliminary approval for Internet addresses written entirely in their native scripts.

Draft trade agreement worries technology companies

April 20, 2010

(AP) -- Technology companies and public interest groups are warning that an international trade agreement being drafted could expose Internet access providers, Web search engines and other online businesses to damaging legal ...

YouTube wins piracy case against Spanish TV

September 23, 2010

YouTube cannot be held responsible for screening images uploaded on its site, a Spanish court said on Thursday, throwing out a case brought by a local TV channel over alleged copyright infringement.

German court rules against YouTube over copyright

September 3, 2010

(AP) -- A German court ruled Friday that Google Inc.'s subsidiary YouTube LLC must pay compensation after users uploaded several videos of performances by singer Sarah Brightman in violation of copyright laws.

Recommended for you

Old, meet new: Drones, high-tech camera revamp archaeology

November 24, 2017

Scanning an empty field that once housed a Shaker village in New Hampshire, Jesse Casana had come in search of the foundations of stone buildings, long-forgotten roadways and other remnants of this community dating to the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.