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August 1, 2013

Russia’s Anti-Piracy Law enters into force

Anti-Piracy bill comes into effect amongst opposition.

By Duncan Macrae

Russia’s new anti-piracy law that Putin signed through last month comes into force today, but faces criticism from opposition worldwide.

The Anti-Piracy bill will allow copyright holders to file lawsuits against sites facilitating copyright infringement, but is seen as a move to increase censorship of the internet by many.

A peaceful demonstration was held in Moscow on Sunday by the Russian Pirate Party.

Member Natalia Malysheva said: "Access to online content should be free and global, because it is people’s right to freely receive and distribute information, as well as it is their right to consume art."

Passed through in a short amount of time, without the consultation of industry experts, critics say that the bill is another politically motivated extension to Russia’s web censorship.

The bill has also worried internet giants Google and Wikipedia, who say that it’s an impossible mission to police the actions of millions of their users.

The law promises to protect movie and television rights holders facing online piracy by specifically targeting websites that facilitate access to pirated video content. Music, however, is not included in the bill.

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