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Apple and Amazon say they’ll cooperate with new app-blocking copyright rules in Russia

By | Published on Tuesday 27 October 2020


Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor has announced that both Apple and Amazon have confirmed their intent to comply with new laws in the country designed to deal rapidly with apps that contain or distribute copyright infringing content.

Russia has introduced a number of new anti-piracy measures in recent years, often increasing the power of Roskomnadzor in the process, and going further than similar measures in Western Europe and North America.

The latest such measure increases the liabilities of app stores, like those operated by Apple and Google. When formally made aware of copyright infringing apps within their platforms, app store operators must quickly order those app-makers to stop infringing and/or remove those apps from their stores. Failure to do so could result in web-blocking action by Roskomnadzor.

Pretty much as soon as the new law came into effect, the three major record companies filed a complaint about three unlicensed music apps – PewPee, iMus and Offline Music Download Music – requesting their removal from the Apple and Amazon stores in the country.

That complaint was very much seen as a test case, examining the impact of the new law, which in theory requires app makers and app stores to respond very quickly once a complaint has been made.

It wasn’t clear exactly how Apple and Amazon would deal with the new requirements but, according to Torrentfreak, earlier this month Roskomnadzor wrote to both tech giants to make them aware of the new laws and to seek contacts for who at those companies would deal with subsequent removal requests.

Last week the internet regulator said in a statement: “[We have] received letters from Apple Inc (dated 8 Oct) and Google (dated 14 Oct), in which company representatives expressed gratitude for the notification of the entry into force of the new federal law of the Russian Federation and provided contacts for prompt interaction in the execution of court decisions”.

It remains to be seen quite what impact all this has on the Apple and Amazon app stores in Russia, and on the apps on those platforms accused of infringing copyright.

Although, despite the new laws mandating very speedy reactions to complaints – and despite both Apple and Amazon saying they will comply with the new laws – Torrentfreak noted yesterday that PewPee, iMus and Offline Music Download Music are all still available via the app stores in Russia.