For the past several years Russia has been making increased efforts to protect content creators. This includes a legal process through which copyright holders can obtain a blocking injunction against sites that are unresponsive to takedown demands.
On August 6, 2015, Warner Bros. filed such a lawsuit at the Moscow City Court in an effort to stop (or at least limit) the unlawful distribution of the movie Entourage. The action targeted 16 separate torrent sites including one of Russia’s most popular, Rutor.org.
The sites had previously been approached to delete the infringing content as Russian law requires but according to a source close to Warner cited by Vedomosti, all failed to respond.
A day later on August 8, the Court upheld Warner’s claims and initiated provisional interim measures against the pages of the sites from where Entourage was being distributed.
This represents the first time that a U.S. based movie company has used Russia’s anti-piracy blocking system directly without enlisting the assistance of a local rightsholder. Nevertheless, Warner did get some help in court from local anti-piracy outfit WebKontrol.
“Warner wants viewers who want to see the movie, to see it in theaters in the best quality, not via a poor-quality illegal copy,” WebKontrol lawyer Lina Gevorgyan told Vedomosti.
“Ultimately, we hope that these sites will comply with Russian law and remove the illegal content.”
The full list of sites affected by the Warner injunction is Bobfilm.net, Kinozadrot.net, Kinokrad.net, Kinomassa.net, BigCinema.tv, My-hit.org, NNM-Club.me, Tushkan.net, Kino-Serial.net, Kinozal.tv, Kinoprosmotr.net, Kinogo.co, Wood-Film.ru, Zerkalo-Rutor.org, 8films.net and Rutor.org.