Media holdings agreed with Yandex about the removal of pirated materials
On November 1, the largest Russian media companies, including television holdings and online cinemas, signed an official memorandum on combating piracy with Internet companies, as reported by Vedomosti. The most important point in the signed document is the obligation of Yandex to remove links to pages with pirated content from the results of the search results for users.
Despite the fact that the revenue of legal video services is growing, right holders consider piracy to be the main factor hindering the development of this market. If we talk about earnings, then advertising holders and paid models bring the most to owners (revenue growth only in the first half of 2018 was 48%). As for the losses, according to the Rambler Group owner Alexander Mamut, the right holders in 2017, the right holders lost about 70 billion rubles due to the actions of the pirates.
The rightholders hold the view that the fight against piracy is ineffective as long as users easily find illegal copies of TV programs, films and TV shows through search engines. In turn, representatives of Yandex answered that the current legislation does not oblige the company to block links to pirated content.
However, the controversy continued. Since the beginning of 2018, work has been carried out on a memorandum, however, it was initially assumed that the parties will sign it in June. True, Yandex did not like the first version, so the document had to be finalized. In September, Yandex had to start working with the authors of the memorandum again, since four lawsuits were filed against the company at once.TV channels of holding "Gazprom-media" to the search engine. Even interim measures were taken - search results, as the court decided, should be blocked by the names of four TV series in Yandex.Video. Under the threat of blocking, Yandex removed all links to these series. So far, the consideration of lawsuits is essentially continuing, but if a company is found guilty of at least two of the four lawsuits, then it threatens it with perpetual blockage.
The parties agreed to the text of the memorandum to the last, as told by the sources who took part in the negotiations. The lawyers agreed on the final text even on the night before signing. Mail.ru Group agreed to sign the document almost before signing. For Yandex, the participation of the group was extremely important, since the search engine insisted that all major Internet companies should sign the final document.
The copyright holders of the memorandum were signed by such companies as Channel One, VGTRK, Gazprom-Media, National Media Group, CTC Media, the Internet Video Association (combines online cinemas) and the Association of Film and Television Producers. Internet companies that have agreed to sign the document - “Yandex”, Mail.ru Group and Rambler Group. The guarantor of this "deal" - Roskomnadzor.
To keep track of “pirated” links, the parties to the contract will create a registry of links to illegal content. Search engines are required to check this registry every 5 minutes and delete new links within 6 hours. The duty of maintaining the register will be assigned to the organization chosen by the right holders - it is not yet clear what exactly this will be.
The registry holder will regularly check the validity of the references sent by the rights holders. And they, in turn, will be responsible for the accuracy of this information. If the Internet service deletes the link that entered the registry in error, the copyright holder must compensate for potential losses.
In addition, companies have pledged not to sue each other on issues that are related to copyright. All disputes will be resolved by Roskomnadzor. Only if it does not help, will the parties go to court. If any of the owners will sue, bypassing the guarantor, the Internet service gets the right to withdraw from the agreement.
According to the agreements of the parties, the mechanism for removing links will take effect within three weeks. True, since the creation of a register of links will take several months, the parties have agreed on a transitional period. For about half a year, the right holders will add links to the standard online spreadsheet. Services will check for links in it every hour, not 5 minutes.
Another innovation is the ability to delete links for content creators who are not related to the largest media holdings. In order for independent rightholders to have the opportunity to participate in the execution of the provisions of the memorandum, Internet companies will create a special form on their resources for the special appeal of third-party partners. Any company that has found illegal copies of its content on the web will be able to send a complaint using this form. The searcher, if he considers the complaint to be justified, is obliged to remove references to pirated content within 24 hours.