Copyright Claim Error Lands Yahoo on Russia’s Piracy Blacklist

By Supriyo Chatterji / November 2, 2021

"Yahoo.com" ended up added to Russia's anti-piracy register due to an error after a media company submitted an infringing copyright URL for a TV show on October 26. As given under Russia's 2018 anti-piracy memorandum, the companies that signed the memorandum were required to delist the submitted URL. This led to Yahoo's entire platform remaining on the blacklist for four days before the issue was noticed.

Star Media Distribution LLC filed a complaint stating that its TV series “Secret Love” was being pirated online. Hence, as a consequence of the inclusion, local search giant Mail.ru blocked Yahoo’s entire domain.

The blunder was noticed four days later, when VK/Mail.ru says it informed the registry admins that adding the entire Yahoo domain to the list was wrong. After the review, the mistake was fixed by removing the domain.

“It was a technical error on the side of the copyright holder, which was corrected as soon as it was noticed,” said a source for Kommersant. However, this addition has raised questions among other search engines as well as the government.

On October 29, search giant Yandex sent a letter to Russia’s Media Communications Union responsible for maintaining piracy blacklist on the legality of adding Yahoo.com to the list. In lightly of the error, the Russian government has now recommended website owners should be informed prior to the inclusion of their URL domain on the list. Star Media itself stated that for them, the issue has been "dealt with" and declined any further comments.

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