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Russia thinks labeling legal streaming sites in search engines will reduce piracy

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The Russian government is well-known for its anti-piracy stance. Its recent proposal for an amendment to the copyright law is aimed at promoting legal streaming sites, and as a result, singling out piracy sites in search engine results.

The Russian Ministry of Culture had proposed the aforementioned amendment as it believes that consumers will deter from using piracy links if search engine results feature legal streaming sites with a special badge or a marker.

While removing copyright infringing and pirated streaming websites from search engine results has been a standard process, this new proposal takes things further. It is, however, to be noted that most pirate site users are well-aware of the website URLs and may not use the search engine to discover such sites.

“We expect that in this way users will make a more informed choice not in favor of pirates, but in favor of legal platforms,” says Olga Lyubimova, director of the cinematography department of the Ministry of Culture.

A Russian news outlet Vedomosti said that this proposal is a part of an amendment to the existing copyright law by the Ministry of Culture. However, it was also revealed that the country wouldn’t be handing out such recognition badges/tokens to all legal anti-pirate platforms.

At a point of time where TV companies and movie production houses want a grasp over the viewership of content consumed online, the anti-pirate streaming sites may have to offer something in return for the official recognition they receive.

For instance, all Russian movie theaters are mandated to report data with respect to tickets sold. However, there isn’t any such equivalent rule that directs online platforms to reveal their viewership figures.

This new proposal may now make it mandatory for all the online streaming platforms to hand over their stats to the Russian government. If in case a legal platform declines to do so, it may be declared illegal and may not be potentially awarded a badge to highlight it as a legal platform in search engine results anymore.

Alongside the country’s groundbreaking decision to compile a list of privacy infringing sites, this step is going to put Russia well-ahead with respect to anti-pirate strategies and implementation on a global level.

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