UPDATE 2: Yandex to contest Moscow crt decision to cut access to pirated video
(Adds official’s comments in last two paragraphs)
MOSCOW/ROSTOV-ON-DON, Aug 29 (PRIME) -- Internet company Yandex sees the decision of the Moscow City Court to stop access to pirated content in search results as groundless and will contest the move, a company spokesperson told PRIME on Wednesday.
Under the law on information and information technologies, pirated content is blocked on the part of a website’s owner and on so-called mirror resources. “Requirements of blocking do not apply to search engines. The system has been working in such a way since long ago,” the spokesperson said.
“The Moscow City Court made the decisions that dramatically contradict its earlier well-settled practice on the matter. What is worse they do not tackle the issue of disputed content since resources with such content will be available in other search systems, social networks, and so forth.
“We think that the demands addressed to us are unjustified and fail to comply with the law, and we will challenge the decisions of the Moscow City Court. As a search engine, Yandex respects the law completely. We will work with market participants to find a solution to the problem of deletion of pirated content within the existing legal framework.”
Earlier in August, the court upheld a lawsuit of TV channels TNT, TV-3, 2x2, and Super – all units of Gazprom-Media Holding – to Yandex and took interim measures regarding illegal distribution of content by the search engine. The content in question comprises several series and a show.
The communications service warned Yandex to stop access to the pirated content on its Yandex.Video by Friday, otherwise Yandex.Video will be blocked.
Deputy Director of the communications watchdog Vadim Subbotin said that Yandex’s intention to contest the decision will not cancel the blocking procedure stipulated by law.
“If Yandex.Video deletes now the pirated content in question, it won’t be blocked. If they do not do it, blocking will follow. Then there will be consideration on merits, and the current decision is on interim measures, which mean that pirated content should be out of reach during the period of application of such measures,” Subbotin said.
Yandex.Video has deleted nothing so far, he said.
Yandex had ignored signing of a memorandum against network piracy, drafted by the authority jointly with copyright holders, Subbotin said, adding that the document was presented at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in late May.
A Yandex spokesperson said the company had not refused to sign the memorandum seeking to fight against piracy, but the document in its current wording needs more work.
“We’re ready to meet with other participants and discuss (the matter),” the spokesperson said.
Deputy Digital Development Minister Alexei Volin said Yandex should agree with copyright holders itself on the Internet piracy matter.
“Yandex has quite serious arguments that imply that nobody can indicate specific addresses of pirate websites to it …We hear Yandex,” Volin told reporters.