Criminal Copyright Infringement Charges Against Russian Music Sharer

Feb 23 2011 - 11:02

Russian authorities have filed criminal copyright infringement charges against an unidentified 26-year-old Moscow resident, who posted 18 songs on his page of the Russian social network Vkontakte (In Contact). The accused faces a fine and up to six years in prison if convicted.

The songs belong to a Russian pop band and were allegedly downloaded over 200,000 times, causing the recording company Nikitin, the exclusive copyright holder, USD 3,600 (EUR 2,652) in damages. There have been criminal charges filed against VKontakte users for uploading pornographic and extremist content, but this is the first criminal case due to copyright infringement.

In October 2010, some of Russia’s major web companies, including VKontakte, released a joint statement directed at the entertainment industry and lawmakers requesting that users take sole responsibility for the content they upload. The companies also suggested that the copyright holders themselves regularly check the music and films and notify website administrators if they discover unauthorized content.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has recently called for the amendments to the copyright regulations in Russia, explaining that the current laws are not adequate in an era of the advancing technology and the Internet.

For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP)

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