Russian social network vKontakte is seen as a “notorious” piracy site by music industry body the RIAA and movie body the MPAA, who both included it in their latest submissions to the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Now vKontakte is fighting back with its own submission protesting. “Over the last years, especially in 2013-2014, VK took numerous steps to address copyright holders’ concerns,” claims its letter, which sets out some of those steps, including a warning message when people upload music to their vKontakte account that it “must not violate copyright laws” and the introduction of audio fingerprinting. The company also claims its takedown system “fully corresponds to the DMCA procedure” in the US and notes that of 450,000 claims submitted through its system, “only 60,000 of them were declined cause of irrelevancy”. The letter also argues that people are using it as a personal cloud locker: “a significant amount of audio and video content is legitimately created and uploaded by individual users themselves, streamed 100% legally and it forms the backbone of the site.” But there’s also news of licensing talks: “We are also currently negotiating licenses with Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappell and Music Publishing Group, as well as BMG Music Publishing,” claims vKontakte.

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