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Russia parliament approves Internet piracy bill

A new anti-piracy bill allowing for websites to be blocked by Internet service providers (ISPs) upon copyright infringement claims passed through its final two readings in Russia's State Duma [official website, in Russian] on Friday. Under the terms of the new bill [Itar-Tass report], failure to remove site content suspected of infringement within 72 hours would result in the entire site being blocked by ISPs pending the outcome of a court hearing by the Moscow City Court [official website]. The legislation has received intense opposition from Google, Mail.Ru Group [corporate websites], the Russian Association of Electronic Communications [website, in Russian] and Yandex [corporate website], Russia's biggest search engine. Once upper house and presidential approval is obtained, the law is expected to come into effect on August 1.

Various countries have struggled in recent years with Internet piracy, adopting varying measures to solve the problem. Last year the Spanish government approved a new law [JURIST report] that created a government agency with the authority to force ISPs to block certain websites that are involved in pirating copyright materials. In 2011, the Somali parliament rejected legislation [JURIST report] designed to combat piracy by criminalizing piracy and improving internal mechanism for trying alleged offenders. In 2010 the Irish High Court ruled that the country does not recognize any laws [JURIST report] that would allow ISPs to suspend service to customers suspected of Internet piracy. In 2009 France approved [JURIST report] an Internet piracy law that restricts access for individuals who use the Internet to violate intellectual property laws.

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