Russian law envisages judicial procedures to claim the removal of links to Internet pages with a pirate video content. This is a time and cost consuming process that does not meet the needs of rightholders and has a low efficiency in the fast changing digital environment. A Counter-piracy Memorandum (the Memorandum) was signed in November 2018 by the major Russian media and Internet companies, namely Mail.ru, Rambler and Yandex, as a mechanism to remove links to the pirated content from the output of Internet search engines. It was agreed that the media companies would create a list of Internet pages with pirated video contents and the Internet companies would remove links to the relevant Internet pages from search outputs by an extrajudicial procedure specified in the Memorandum.

Yandex insisted that the arrangement should be formalized by legislation. An amendment to the current Law “On Information, information technologies and information protection” was supposed to be introduced before the expiry date of the Memorandum on 01 September 2019. When a draft of the amendment was not agreed by the deadline, the Memorandum was extended till the end of 2019 on condition that the relevant amendments are filed for review and approval by the Russian Parliament within 30 September 2019.

The draft is not yet ready, but it is expected to be by the end of October. Meanwhile, the Internet companies continue to remove the pages claimed by the rightholders as containing infringing video files. According to the press, an extrajudicial procedure based only on the position of the rightholders is not supported by all stakeholders, and the upcoming amendment to the legislation is expected to raise a broad debate.