Russia's most popular social network website won a million-ruble law suit against a media giant.
Vkontakte website (literally “In contact”), which is the Russian version of Facebook, was accused of illegally hosting copyrighted materials owned by the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcast Company.
Among the “pirated” files were a Russian action film “Hunt for Piranha” released in 2006 and a philosophical drama, “Island”.
In autumn 2008, the company filed a suit against the site owners, demanding compensation.
The site pointed out that the materials in question were uploaded by the social network users, not its administration. Still, in July 2010 the court ruled in favour of the copyright holders, obliging Vkontakte to moderate the uploaded content and repay the money to the company.
The precedent triggered a whole wave of copyright suits against social network websites. The legal actions were taken by such media giants as A-Media, specializing in highly popular remakes of western series, and Gala Records, Russia’s leading recording company.
On October 14, Russia’s top Internet holdings officially called on lawmakers and copyright holders to put an end to the ongoing “content wars”, making pirates, not providers, responsible for illegal downloads.
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