MPAA Happily Gets Into Bed With Russian State Censor Agency… To Protect Copyright!
from the the-friends-you-keep dept
Roskomnadzor is the Russian “telecommunications regulator” or “watchdog,” but it could just as easily be described as the Russian internet censor, because that appears to be a large part of its role in the country. In the past, we’ve written about Roskomnadzor blocking all of Wikipedia over a single reference to hashish (really) and also a plan to block all of CloudFlare because the company made it difficult for Russia’s internet censorship plans to work. Earlier this month, Roskomnadzor made news for blacklisting a Vice article, claiming that it would encourage shoplifting.
So, who better to support such a censorship regime than… Hollywood! The MPAA has now proudly signed an agreement with Roskomnadzor to cooperate on protecting copyright online. The linked article is unfortunately horribly written. The title implies that the MPAA represents the government of the United States (while sometimes true in practice, that’s not how it’s supposed to work…) and then provides frightfully few details on what the agreement really is), beyond “protect copyright!”
The memorandum reflects the principles and rules of self-regulation in the interaction of rights holders with internet facilities, essentially protecting copyright on the internet.
That feels like something the reporter pulled straight from a press release and didn’t bother to check what it meant. Still, the MPAA getting into bed with the Russian state internet censor should raise some pretty serious questions. The Russian government has, somewhat infamously, been known to use copyright law to intimidate and silence government critics. The government also has used SOPA-like laws to encourage spying on users.
And yet, this is the same MPAA that claims that one of its core principles is preserving free speech. Perhaps they just mean in the US? Those in Russia are on their own, apparently, because the MPAA is on the side of the government censor. Or, perhaps the reality is that the MPAA has no problem with censorship anywhere, so long as it’s censorship on behalf of the MPAA.