VKontakte Signs Memo to Combat Movie Piracy

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VKontake, Russia's answer to Facebook, has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with the country's telecoms watchdog. The anti-piracy move is being seen as a step towards being removed from the United States Trade Representative's 'notorious market' Special 301 Report.

vkVKontakte (VK) has long been criticized for its approach to piracy. The site is awash with unauthorized content including movies and music, all uploaded by the social network’s millions of users.

As a result the United States Trade Representative labels VK a “notorious market”, a particularly unhelpful label for an operation with big ambitions.

But now, in a move designed to allow the company to move forward, VK has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with Roskomnadzor, Russia’s telecoms watchdog.

The memorandum, which represents a consensus of how Internet companies should deal with pirated movies and offer legal alternatives, has already been signed by representatives of 36 Internet sites. Until now, however, VK has refused to sign.

According to the document, reported by Izvestia, VK has agreed to block infringing content “within a reasonable time” and look towards the introduction of fingerprinting technology. This will enable the site to effectively deal with the reappearance of content already taken down by rightsholders.

A source in Roskomnadzor said that VK will sign up before the start of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 22.

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