by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jan 21st 2011 11:39am
To hear the US entertainment industry talk, Russia is a horrible "haven for pirates." The US has been putting diplomatic pressure on Russia for yeas to improve its copyright laws and enforcement, with Russia regularly receiving a place on the "naughty or nice" Special 301 Report from the USTR. And yet... it certainly sounds like Russian copyright laws and enforcement are pretty damn draconian, with the news coming out that a guy, who is accused of uploading 18 songs to the social network Vkontakte, is now facing six years in prison. While it's true that Russia has (quite reasonably) argued that Vkontakte itself is not liable for uploads of others, just the fact that someone could be facing any jail time for simple uploading, let alone six years for basically an album's worth of materials seems way out of proportion to the "crime." It's things like this that make people respect copyright even less than they already do. When they see that someone is facing so much time in prison just for sharing less than 20 songs, it's the sort of thing that makes them realize the laws don't make any sense at all.
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