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    Russian Telecom Regulator Calls Website Blocking Ineffective

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    Website blocking under Russia’s anti-piracy law is ineffective and should be used only as a last resort, a senior official with the country’s federal telecommunications watchdog said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, September 17 (Sergei Feklyunin, RAPSI) – Website blocking under Russia’s anti-piracy law is ineffective and should be used only as a last resort, a senior official with the country’s federal telecommunications watchdog said Tuesday.

    "We think that blocking [websites] is inefficient because it may damage respectable resources," Maxim Ksenzov, deputy head of Russia’s federal telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said Tuesday at a conference on Internet rights.

    Extrajudicial dispute resolution through the use of a self-regulated organization with the involvement of the copyright holders and large Internet platforms must be an alternative to such blocking, he added.

    The anti-piracy law took effect on August 1, despite protests by Internet companies. The law was adopted by the lower house of parliament on June 21 and approved by the upper house on June 26.

    The law sets out the legal grounds and the procedure for limiting access to websites that distribute movies and TV shows in violation of copyrights. The law also sets out the rules for bringing to account those who provide access to such content, including Internet service providers.

    The law does not apply to music. Also, the law’s authors said their goal was not to fight those who download pirated films, but those who distribute this kind of content. Issues of injunction and punishment are being handled exclusively by the Moscow City Court, which accepts complaints around the clock, including online.

    The court will also set the length of the period (up to 15 days) during which a plaintiff can file a lawsuit. In case of failure to do so, or if the lawsuit is rejected, the organization or individual whose legal interests have been harmed by the blocking of content will be able to claim damages.

    The agency then has three days to determine the hosting provider of the website and to order it to delete the pirated content. If the owner of the resource openly refuses to do so or does nothing to fulfill the regulator's order for three days, the regulator will limit access to the website.

    Before filing a request for blocking access to such websites, the rights holders must provide evidence of their ownership of the content being distributed in violation of copyright.

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    anti-piracy law, Internet, Roskomnadzor
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