Russia’s recent efforts to combat online infringement date back to 2013 with the introduction of a new anti-piracy law. Initially protecting only movies, the law compels local ISPs to blocking infringing sites if they fail to respond to takedown complaints.
In 2014 the law received further amendment when it was expanded to cover other digital media, with the notable exception of images. Fresh noises from Russia now suggest that its copyright laws could be expanded again, this time in an effort to protect written text.
According to comments made to local news agency TASS this week, politicians are preparing to tackle infringement in some elements of the media.
“Indeed, there is a conversation with the journalistic community on the topic of additional changes in legislation, including for copy-paste [infringement],” said Leonid Levin, deputy head of the Duma Committee on information politics.
“We will analyze this situation and we are certainly going to look at the possibility of changes, including for the protection of media publications.”
At this stage it seems likely that Levin is referring to the wholesale online ‘piracy’ of complete articles and publications but no further details have yet been made public. But whatever the intent, plenty of space will be required to report news, generate analysis, express opinion and offer criticism.
More details should become available later in the year.
“I think that in the fall session we will analyze the legislation in this matter,” Levin concludes.
Last month YouTube was just days away from having sections of its site blocked in Russia after failing to remove copyrighted content in a timely manner. That dispute appears to have ended peacefully.