The Russian Lower House has approved an anti-piracy bill that only protects movies and does not introduce responsibility for users of the pirated content.
The bill was passed in the second and third reading on Friday as 337 of 450 MPs voted for it. Only one MP voted against and there were no abstentions.
In its current form the bill only protects video content - movies and television series which is different from the original draft that also covered music copyright. The sponsors of the bill said the reason was movies were much more expensive to produce and that after it could still be amended at a later date should there be a need.
The bill allows the blocking of whole web-sites that
distribute pirated content after the copyright holder writes a
complaint to a specially set up official body. Fifteen days later
the case would go to the Moscow City Court, which will now decide
on all film piracy cases in the country. If the court finds the
law has not been broken access to the site must be re-opened. If
the complaint is upheld the site remains blocked and will be put
on a special blacklist.
No sanctions are introduced against downloaders and end users of the pirated videos.
If it is approved by the Upper House and signed by the President
the bill would come into force on August 1.
Representatives of music and software industry have expressed
surprise over the exclusive rights of movie makers and experts
noted that the bill could overload the Moscow City Court as well
as discriminate against citizens and companies from other Russian
According to parliamentarians, internet piracy costs Russian
copyright holders about 60 billion roubles a year (under $2