It may be Russia’s Facebook in terms of social networking scale, but vKontakte continues to provoke the ire of creative industry rightsholders for the filesharing aspects of its service. The latest controversy isn’t in Russia though: it’s in Italy, where ISPs have been ordered to block access to vKontakte as part of a new crackdown on filesharing sites. The Public Prosecutor of Rome made the order against vKontakte, Rapidgator and other sites after a complaint from film producer Medusa Film, part of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire. It claimed vKontakte was facilitating illegal access to its film ‘Sole a Catinelle’. The impact of the block is unclear – how many Russian ex-pats are in Italy? – but it’s the latest sign of the willingness of the Italian courts to order such blocks.

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