Interim injunctions to protect copyright online in the form of blocking the online content are now available in relation to almost all types of copyright, including in particular music and software, but excluding photos. As we previously reported (please click here to view), the so-called “Anti-piracy Law” first introduced web blocking interim injunctions on 1 August 2013. However, this kind of injunction was limited to films.

The latest Anti-piracy Law (the “Law”), which the industry expected would be adopted sooner, should provide copyright owners with an effective means of copyright enforcement in Russia. The Law also brings new compliance requirements for website owners.

Main provisions of the Law

The Law, which came into force on 1 May 2015, amends both the Law on Information, Information Technology and Information Protection and the Civil Procedure Code of Russia, mainly to:

  • extend previously existing website blocking measures to all copyrighted works except photos;
  • describe in more detail the steps to follow to block content (i) through an interim injunction, as well as (ii) voluntarily upon receipt of an infringement notification from a copyright owner; and
  • introduce a new procedure to permanently block websites that were found to be repeatedly infringing copyright.

The Law also requires website owners, starting from 1 May 2015, to display their names, locations and e-mail addresses, so that copyright owners may send their copyright-related claims to them. These claims may be sent in hard copy or, in cases when a website owner chooses to have electronic forms on its website to this end, electronically. 

Comment

The latest developments brought about by the Law should widely benefit copyright owners, while seriously affecting anyone displaying information containing copyrighted works of third parties on the Internet (e.g. website owners, web hosting providers, communication services providers). 

As regards website owners, operators and hosting providers, we recommend that they should treat any requests from copyright owners or their representatives seriously and rapidly to ensure the timely removal of disputed content. Failing this, they run the risk of having their entire website blocked.