Fresh from signing a licensing deal with Universal Music to complete its set of the major labels, Russian social network vKontakte is hitting back at any suggestions the catalogue of user-uploaded music on its service make it a piracy site.
“The term “piracy” is not applicable to User Generated Content (UGC) services. Our position, which we have successfully defended in legal disputes, is that we do not distribute pirate content,” claimed CEO Boris Dobrodeyev in an interview with TorrentFreak, although the journalist went on to use the ‘P’ word again, sparking this response.
“We would reiterate that the term ‘piracy’ is not correct when talking about UGC services. Following significant efforts to license music content, the overwhelming majority of music by global artists on VK is completely legal.”
It’s not just journalists using the term though: vKontakte is now angling for its site to be removed from government-backed lists of ‘notorious’ piracy sites too.
“We certainly hope that VKontakte will be removed from ‘piracy’ lists following the settlements and taking into account the enormous amount of work that the network has undertaken in this area,” said Dobrodeyev.
There is plenty of hard work ahead though: vKontakte may have licences now, but it remains to be seen how the company plans to make use of them – and how willing its users will be to pay for the resulting music services.
vKontakte may have earned the right to not be described as a piracy service, but music rightsholders are watching keenly to see what kind of a legitimate music player the company can evolve into now.