Last year, a group of big internet companies – including Google, Vkontakte, and Yandex – published an open letter asking copyright holders to stop targeting them in cases of online copyright infringement (Bulletin, 18-Oct-10). They called for a DMCA-style system where they wouldn’t be liable for illegal content, but would put takedown procedures in place for rightsholders to police infringement. According to TorrentFreak – quoting a report in the Russian media – the internet companies have got their way. A statement from Russian communications minister Igor Shchyogolev apparently says individual internet users will be ‘held accountable for making available copyright infringing media’, but that websites must remove content from their servers if rightsholders complain. Russian IP lawyer Irina Tulubyeva expresses anger on the part of the latter, though. “With this new law, piracy will reign.”

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