Blocking May Have Led to A 43% Increase in Pirate Sites in Russia

By Nitish Singh / January 28, 2019

According to a report by anti-piracy organization WebKontrol, there has been a 43% increase in pirate sites last year. The rampant increase in such sites has been linked to a number of existing websites being taken down for hosting pirated content. Whenever popular pirate sites are taken down, mirror sites pop up to keep the torrents and streams available to internet users, and it is no different in Russia’s case.

Even though pirate sites are constantly added to Russia’s national blacklist, a number of mirror websites are published in no time. From 1,300 torrent websites available in the Russian market in 2017 the number has climbed up to approximately 2000. There has been an increase in the number of torrent trackers as well with 22% torrent trackers available compared to 19% in 2017.

Contrary to popular belief, torrent websites account for only 20% of piracy. Streaming platforms that offer content illegally are far more rampant and widely used compared to pirate sites. Users do not have to worry about installing torrent file management software to download files and streaming is simply more convenient. Even though pirate websites do not make up for most of the market share, new movies and other content are usually available on such websites before streaming platforms.

On a positive note, activity on pirate sites has gone down despite the increase in available websites. Site-blocking legislations have been slightly effective, and Roscomnadzor is trying to find means of making site-blocking more effective. The telecommunications watchdog has come up with a new system that reduces site-blocking injunctions to go into effect as quickly as 4-6 minutes, down from the usual 30-40 minutes. The Roscomnadzor reported “The new mechanism allows service providers to receive data from the Unified Registry [national blacklist] for only updated or changed entries instead of downloading the entire data set,”

What do you think about the increasing number of pirate sites in Russia? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to share your thoughts below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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