Russia Will Amend Its Copyright Law Following Yandex Controversy

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated November 8, 2018

Russian tech giant Yandex was dragged into controversy recently after its search engine was said to be promoting pirated content. Yandex denied all claims and stated that they were simply offering a search index like any other, but the entertainment industry took the matter to court and the company was forced to remove listings of pirate websites and their content.

A lawsuit was filed against the tech giant by Gazprom-Media outlets including TNT, TV-3, 2×2, and Super. The search engine received time until August 30 to remove all indexing of pirated content on the platform. Initially, Yandex wanted to challenge the court’s decision of removing the piracy links but backtracked later to avoid receiving a ban on the whole platform. The Russian government is now set to change the country’s copyright laws in an attempt to avoid confusion created by the lawsuit amongst ISPs, media industry members and search engines.

Press Secretary of court Ulyana Solopova revealed “Four lawsuits were filed by Yandex. In all the lawsuits, the TV channels ask the Court to oblige the defendant to stop creating technical conditions that ensure the placement of works on the website.”

The final decision of the court trial is pending with Gazprom Media trying to settle the matter with Yandex. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov revealed that the anti-piracy laws will be improved with regards to legislation, data regulation, and intellectual property rights. Amendments are set to be released by the end of this year. However, it is unknown if the changes to the copyright laws will affect the ongoing trial against Yandex.

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