It’s probably a good time for Russian social network vKontakte to have sorted its licensing deals with music labels. Why? The Russian government is reportedly planning a new crackdown on piracy through social networks.

Local reports suggest that a change in the law could see social media services lose their “information broker” status in Russia, which protects them from being held liable for copyright-infringing uploads by users. Yes, this is Russia’s equivalent of the safe-harbour laws that are under attack from rightsholders in the US and EU. Note, for now this change in Russia is in the form of a draft bill which has been sent to the Ministry of Communications according to TorrentFreak: there is no guarantee that it will be passed without further changes. The bill also includes measures to regulate search engines in the way they show results for copyrighted content.

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