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1,700 Russian websites on strike against new anti-piracy law

Published time: August 01, 2013 18:07
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Over 1,700 websites in the Russian internet have joined an online strike against the new anti-piracy legislation, which came into force on Thursday, allowing pre-trial blocking of web-pages.

The content of the websites, taking part in the action, was unavailable to the users for the day.

Their front pages were blanked, only containing messages denouncing the law and links to the petition demanding to call off the legislation.

“All of your favorite websites, including, may also be BLOCKED,”
the text on the music website front page said., popular online encyclopedia focused on Internet subcultures, folklore and memes, informed that it’s “closed on the decision of Roskomnadzor (Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications).”

"That’s roughly how Roskomnadzor will act after being armed with the new law. One may try to protest and sign petitions or just enjoy the ride,”
the message explained.

Russia’s biggest e-mail service,, wasn’t closed on the day, but also spoke out against the law. The website placed a banner on its main page, leading to a blog post, which described its views on the issue.  

“And now the ‘anti-piracy’ law comes into force. Today, we live in an online reality where every user became an information middleman and any page can be shut down for posting a link on the pirated content,” a statement by said.

Meanwhile, the country’s most visited websites – Yandex and Rambler search engines, Russian versions of Google, Livejournal and Wikipedia as well as the largest social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki – ignored the strike, leaving the anti-piracy law without a comment.

The fresh anti-piracy law faced a lot of criticism when it was developed and discussed by legislators. The critics noted that it was strange that it only protected movies and TV series and that out-of court blocking can be easily used for unfair competition and even political censorship.

The unregistered Pirate Party of Russia recently held a street rally against the law and called upon its supporters to reply with a “Black August” – not go to the movies and not buy any legal content for a month.

The Roskomsvoboda (Russian Freedom Committee) website has claimed that it had collected 100,000 signatures in favor of repealing the law.

This would allow the petition to become a legislative initiative that should be duly considered by the parliament, but only if the signatures were collected through a specially designed web-site Russian Public Initiative (ROI.Ru).

A similar petition posted on the site gathered over 67,000 signatures in less than a month but is still short from the required 100,000 figure.

Comments (15)


Benjamin Stroud 03.08.2013 15:41

Freesaxon 02.08.2013 09:49

Of course the issue in the background is one of American / Western cultural Imperialism, via the internet. ( I use the word cultural, in its loosest form ) In France, radio stations BY LAW have to play French music as a certain % of their output. Russia needs its own Hollywood. I quite liked the Russian Solaris (1972).




Jubba323 02.08.2013 15:18

Who cares?


Andrey Yurchenko 02.08.2013 05:36

Tyler Chester 02.08.2013 04:48

Why doesn't the law allow content owners to go to the web host or ISP directly for removal?


Well, they can. In fact, the site's owner gets warning to delete illegal content before blocking procedure.

There's no "anti-g ay" law in Russia. You just can't promote homosexuality publicly.
It doesn't ban g ays or any other minorities from expressing their points.
Just like I said, we didn't grow the values you have. Like 95% or Russians support the law. The government just made it official. Sure it will be lifted. When time comes.

View all comments (15)
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