CIS Legal Update - September 2013: Russia Joins the Fight Against Online Piracy

by Dechert LLP

[co-author: Ramil Shafigulin]

In response to mounting global pressure to implement effective legislation to curb Russia’s rampant online piracy, the President of Russia on July 2, 2013 signed Federal Law No. 187-FZ “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Data and Telecom Networks,” (the “Anti-Piracy Law), which entered into force on August 1, 2013.

In its final form, the Anti-Piracy Law establishes procedures for prohibiting access to movies that are illegally hosted on data and telecom networks, including on the Internet, and for seeking damages in court. Although the draft law had also initially provided for prohibitions on access to audio records distributed in violation of intellectual property rights as well, these measures were later deleted and left for discussion at a later date.

According to the provisions of the Anti-Piracy Law, those with rights to films who come across their content on the Internet – hosted without their permission or without any legal justification – may apply to the Moscow State Court (the “Moscow Court”) for the implementation of interim measures, namely blocking access to the website on which the content is illegally hosted. The reasoning behind entrusting the Moscow Court with this responsibility is unclear given that there already exists an intellectual property court within the system of arbitrazh (commercial) courts that specifically hears disputes concerning the protection of intellectual property rights. Moreover, adding to the Moscow Court’s docket is only likely to lead to further congestion and organizational problems. Taking this into account, it may be worthwhile for legislators to consider establishing a pre-court dispute resolution procedure for disputes concerning intellectual property rights relating to illegally-hosted content. 

If interim measures are granted by the Moscow Court, the right holder should submit an application to the Federal Service for Supervision over Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (“Roscomnadzor”) in order to restrict access to the resources that distribute the illegally-hosted content. Upon receipt of the application, Roscomnadzor must then send a notification to the service provider of the web hosting company, which, in turn, must inform the owner of the respective website of the need to remove or restrict access to the illegally-hosted content. If neither the hosting company nor the owner of the website takes the requested measures, the website/page in question will be subsequently blocked by the service provider.

In this respect, the Anti-Piracy Law shifts the burden of protecting intellectual property rights from the right holders (as was previously the case) to those directly or indirectly engaged in the illegal hosting and/or transfer of the materials in question (the “information intermediaries”). Simply put, the Anti-Piracy Law unconditionally holds liable hosting companies, owners of websites, including websites dedicated to file-sharing (torrents), and service providers for breaches of intellectual property rights (with respect to films).

Experts anticipate that “information intermediaries” may also be interpreted to include sites and users posting links to illegally placed material. In particular, experts have expressed concerns that search sites, such as the well-known internet-encyclopedia Wikipedia, as well as users who post links to illegally hosted materials, can become subject to the punitive measures of the Anti-Piracy Law (although the Anti-Piracy Law is silent on users who simply access (watch/download) illegally posted movie content).

The Anti-Piracy Law provides right holders with the opportunity to sue the relevant information intermediaries for damages caused by any illegal hosting of films. Although the law does not currently stipulate any other punitive measures that can be taken against the culpable information intermediaries (except for suspending or further canceling the operating licenses of service providers), Draft Law No. 303374-6, which was introduced to the State Duma of the Russian Federation on June 25, 2013, provides for administrative liability in the form of fines for the failure to remove or restrict access to illegally hosted films.

At present, it is difficult to predict how effectively the Anti-Piracy Law will be applied in practice and what further steps will be taken by lawmakers. Individual users as well as business representatives, including those from large internet companies such as Yandex, Google, and, have criticized the Anti-Piracy Law, predicting that it will have a negative effect on the investment climate for internet-based businesses and could possibly lead to an environment of unfair competition and abuse by government officials. However, considering the Anti-Piracy Law has not yet entered into force, it is difficult to properly predict any adverse consequences.

Despite the criticism surrounding the Ant-Piracy Law, the deputies of the State Duma intend to prepare a similar law in the near future that will provide a procedure for protecting the intellectual property rights of other kinds of illegally placed content such as music, computer games, programs, and literature. We will monitor this situation and provide updates as appropriate.

Written by:

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.