MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) – A state blacklist of websites hosting pirated films that was launched in Russia on Thursday went down within hours, apparently failing to cope with the influx of web surfers, Digit.ru news website reported.
Nap.rkn.gov.ru, which contains a database of websites blocked for hosting pirated film content, was inaccessible on Thursday morning, the report said.
The website was back online as of this article’s publication. State telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, which runs Nap.rkn.gov.ru, made no comment on the matter.
Digit.ru said the problem may have been due to a large number of copyright holders checking out the database, though a website’s failure to respond may also be due to a denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack.
A controversial law that came into force Thursday – and has been dubbed the “Russian SOPA” after its scrapped US analogue – allows authorities to ban websites for hosting pirated films and TV shows.
The law has faced a flurry of criticism from the Russian Internet industry over technicalities, which, industry representatives say, will enable rampant abuse. Two most widely cited alleged flaws are a ban by IP address – which is usually shared by several websites, all of which end up on the blacklist in the event of a ban – and the complaints procedure, which allows the copyright holder to seek a ban on the website without contacting the uploaders of the film in question first.
About 1,700 Russian-language websites, including popular music portal Zaycev.net and meme encyclopedia Lurkmore.to, staged a protest on Thursday, posting banners against the new blacklist or even going on strike by shutting down their operations for a day. A petition to roll back the law has gathered 60,000 signatures on a government website for grassroots petitions, which are mandatory for parliamentary review if they reach 100,000 signatures within a year.