European Observatory releases Internet piracy report


The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) just published its written submission to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, listing countries that it believes should be on the “priority watch list” regarding movie, music, videogame and software piracy. The “most wanted” countries this year are Canada, China, Russia and Ukraine.

Monitoring developments in this area, the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, just released its latest “IRIS plus” report, “Answers to Internet Piracy,” which offers a new analysis of what is being done to combat piracy in Europe, with a special focus on Russia.

The lead article of the report, “Fighting Internet Piracy in Russia: The Legal Framework and Its Development,” is authored by Dmitry Golovanov of the Moscow Media Law and Policy Centre. The article details recent legal events in the fight against piracy in Russia such as the blacklisting of the “Russian equivalent of Facebook,”, by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the first-ever case of a VKontakte user becoming a suspect in a criminal case for illegally uploading audio files.

The author also examines the regulatory principles applying to the Internet in Russia and their interpretation. In fact, Golovanov states that “Russia lacks a comprehensive special law on the protection of intellectual-property rights on the Internet as well as regulation of the Internet itself.”

Russia is an observer to the World Trade Organization and will in all probability become a member in 2012. As a result, the country will have to bring national legislation into line with WTO agreements. As part of the accession agreement, Russia has already agreed to “take action against…websites [with servers located in the Russian federation] that promote illegal distribution of content.”

The “Related Reporting” section of the publication provides overview articles on the European Commission’s approach to the public domain, French reflections on broadening HADOPI’s scope of action, and case law in the field of copyright from the EU, Sweden, Germany, Spain and France.

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