Mirror sites and permanent blocking actions: online piracy in 2019

Overall piracy situation in Russia remains challenging, according to several international reports recently submitted.

Russian online piracy has a huge international impact – the most popular online pirate resources such as Rapidgator.net, are hosted and administrated in Russia.

In 2018 Russia was once again put into the Priority Watch List – a list of countries with inadequate intellectual property laws which are deemed of concern, published in the “Special 301 Report” of the US Trade Representative. However, WEBKONTROL have noticed the positive development of Russian anti-piracy legislation over the last five years – back in 2013 the first anti-piracy law was brought by the State Duma; On May 1, 2015 new rules made it possible for sites to be permanently blocked. In October 2017 another legislative amendment came into force allowing right holders to target so-called mirror sites. Followed by the 2015 and 2017 adoptions, the law positively tackled online piracy. Over 100 pirate resources have been blocked during 2016 and more than 800 in 2017.

WEBKONTROL submitted an analytical report that summarized the results of anti-piracy actions taken in 2018. The report includes data on thousands of pirate resources and illegally distributed content. Research showed that the streaming resources dominate with more than 70%, but WEBKONTROL believe that streaming websites will continue to grow in numbers because of the constant reappearance of mirror sites. Presumably, the market share of file-sharing platforms is most likely to drop in 2019, while torrent-trackers and UGC-platforms should remain on the same position.

Notwithstanding that the most productive blocking campaign took place in 2018 – over 3 000 sites were shut down permanently for copyright infringement – both Russian and foreign right holders plan to bring more site blocking actions in 2019.
Site-blocking proved to be an effective tool against rapidly growing traffic.

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