Russian MP Says She Loves Torrents, Hates Web Blockades

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When it comes to Internet file-sharing, most mainstream politicians rarely have anything good to say, but for Senator Lyudmila Bokova of the Russian parliament, things are clearly quite different. "I like to use torrents," she says, "because they provide the ability to download information quickly and cheaply."

From Canada through the United States, to the UK, Europe, and beyond, few politicians want to be seen supporting copyright infringement.

With the notable exception of the Pirate Party, for most politicians, piracy is something to fight against, not promote. Over in Russia, however, they like to do things a little bit differently.

On the one hand, the country is cracking down really hard on pirate sites, blocking them left and right while planning new legislation that will hold social networks liable for the piracy of their users. On the other, we have Senator Lyudmila Bokova who didn’t get the memo.

Speaking at the “Internet and Law” event organized by Russian news outlet Kommersant, the Federation Council member steered away from criticism to endorse piracy as a convenient and cost-effective method of obtaining content.

“I like to use torrents because they provide the ability to download information quickly and cheaply,” Bokova said.

“To go to the cinema today – just look at the price of tickets: 1000 rubles ($17.78). For a family of three people go to the movies it’s 3,000 rubles ($53.34) from the budget. It’s expensive. A torrent is cheap.”

But the Senator, who served as deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, didn’t stop there.

Speaking with RNS, Bokova condemned Russia’s plans to block pirate sites without a trial. She criticized amendments that will force search engines such as Google and local giant Yandex to remove links to sites from search results.

“I think if we follow the path of pre-trial blocking [of pirate content and search engine links] it will create more problems in our society. I believe that in this case a court order, in my opinion, is the most correct approach,” she said.


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