Russia Improves Anti-Piracy Laws

Russia is improving the law it uses to tackle online priacy.

The law was introduced in mid-2013 and gave the authorities power to tell internet companies to cut off access to sites found to be pirating media.

The law only applied to sites that shared pirated movies and TV shows.

It has now been updated and expanded to cover sites that share links to pirated music, books and software, and will come into force from today.

The law will give those accused of harbouring pirated media just 72 hours to respond to a complaint before a permanent ban is put in place.

No court order is required to shut down sites, instead officials will respond to complaints from right-holders.

Those accused of pirating will then be able to argue their defence in court, however if they lose two cases, their site will automatically go on the block list.

Figures from Russia have revealed that in the first year, anti-piracy watchdogs received complaints about 175 sites, which resulted in 12 of them being put on the banned list.

Most of the banned sites are believed to be those that share BitTorrent "trackers" which people use to find pirated media.

Deputy speaker of the Russian Duma warned pirates about the change.

He said: "Our common goal is to ensure that all work is adequately rewarded and that the benefit from successful books, music and wonderful computer programs is enjoyed by those who created them, and not those who stole them."

The success rates of the changes have been published by Russia, to show that the action against pirated video has been successful.

Online sales of movies and TV shows have more than doubled since the law came into place.

This anti-piracy law is one of several different pieces of legislation enacted by Russia, aimed at the internet.

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