Extension to anti-piracy law to be discussed by Duma

Extension to anti-piracy law to be discussed by Duma
A mock-up of the blackout screen used during protests against the law in August

17 September 2013

An amendment was tabled today which would extend the powers of the controversial anti-piracy law that came into force on 1 August. The present law allows government watchdog Roskomnadzor to suspend the IP address of any website suspected of hosting pirated content, without warning and before any legal proceedings have been initiated.

Presently, the law only covers video content. However, it has already been strongly criticised by major internet companies such as Google and Yandex. A petition against the law gathered 100 thousand signatures — enough to force it to be considered by the State Duma. If today’s amendment is passed, the law will apply to all intellectual property.

The amendment proposes, among a range of changes to the original law, that throughout the text the words “films, including cinematic and televisual films” be replaced with the words “information containing material subject to copyright and other associated rights”.

The amendment has been proposed by two deputies from the party of government, United Russia: Robert Schlegel, deputy chairman of the Duma Committee for Information Policy, Information Technology and Communication, and Maria Maksakova, a former opera singer.