HideLast Call: Our Black Friday weekend sale ends tonight! Shop now to save on all Techdirt gear »
HideLast Call: Our Black Friday weekend sale ends tonight! Shop now to save on all Techdirt gear »

Russian Copyright Law Allows Entire News Site To Be Shut Down Over A Single Copied Article

from the funny-how-that-works dept

We've noted for a long time now that copyright laws are regularly used as a tool for censorship. In Russia, abusing copyright law for censorship and to harass political opponents has become standard. Remember how the Russian government teamed up with Microsoft to use questionable copyright claims to intimidate government critics? And then how the MPAA gleefully got into bed with Russia's media censor to celebrate copyright? Of course, Russia also expanded its ability to use copyright to censor the internet, following pressure from short-sighted US diplomats, demanding that Russia better "respect" copyright laws.

And now it's resulting in the taking down of an entire news site. As TorrentFreak reports, news site Story-media.ru does appear to have copied a full article from a popular Russian news site Gazeta. That's certainly an issue, but because of that single copied article, combined with the use of anonymizing the WHOIS record, a Moscow court has ordered the entire site blocked. Think about that for a second and recognize how copyright can be used to shut down an entire publication. Now some will argue that they wouldn't have any problem if they hadn't copied that article, but copyright is one of those things that basically everyone infringes on eventually. If you don't expect this process to be abused to shut down press that powerful individuals in Russia don't like, then you haven't been paying much attention.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: censorship, copyright, news, russia


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 27 Jul 2016 @ 12:09pm

    Is this Russia's equivalent of the DMCA?

    Or is this some super power that Russian law provides without even the puny protections of the DMCA?

    With this kind of power, and the craziness of copyright, and the craziness of some people who promote copyright, it is easy to see that a lot of sites would get shut down. Everyday things. Wikipedia. Blogs and internet forums on a large scale. News sites for even trivial 'infringements' that might well be fair use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Tom Mink (profile), 27 Jul 2016 @ 1:06pm

    Takedown

    Censorship progression:
    A user anonymously posts a copied article and down goes the site. A user maliciously posts that article in order to take down the site. User-derived content goes away because of the liability.

    Someone claims copyright over part or all of a legitimate article, taking down the site while the claim is adjudicated.

    Finally, news and commentary posted without attribution out of fear of reprisals is attacked as copyright infringement and nobody can safely lodge a counterclaim of authorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jul 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Oh I can't wait for Putins fail army to descend here and make fools of themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2016 @ 4:46pm

    How convenient!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.