On July 2, 2013 the Russian Parliament passed Federal Law No. 187 “On Introducing Amendments to Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Intellectual Property Issues in Information and Telecommunications Networks” which will come into force on August 1, 2013. Applying to all audiovisual content, the law will have major impact on copyright protection on the Internet, affecting notification of Internet providers, actions to cease infringement, preliminary injunctions and enforcement.

Articles 1 and 2 of the law stipulate that copyright owners may immediately file a submission to the Moscow City Court to seek a preliminary injunction against an infringing website, without contacting the website owners. The term of the injunction is up to 15 days, over which time a copyright owner may initiate a lawsuit on the merits. Once the preliminary injunction is granted, Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) will request the hosting provider remove the infringing content from the website. In the event that the content is not removed within three days, Roskomnadzor will block the website.

While the law holds Internet providers liable for copyright infringement, they may be exempted from liability in the event they are not aware of the infringement. This is also true for Internet providers who have undertaken necessary and timely measures to prevent infringement.

Implementation of these new rules and procedures is to commence very shortly, and may lead to a better level of protection for audiovisual works in Russia.