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vKontakte boss wants his company taken off all the piracy lists

By | Published on Monday 25 July 2016


The boss of Russian social network vKontakte has been a chit chatting to Torrentfreak following his company finally settling with Universal Music earlier this month.

As previously reported, that deal brings to an end vKontakte’s long-running legal battle with the record industry. Universal is the final major to settle its copyright infringement action and concurrently sign up to work with the social network and its parent company Group on licensed streaming services in Russia.

Though, while the majors are now allies of Boris Dobrodeyev’s company, he maintains that the rampant distribution of unlicensed music files across vKontakte’s social network, which is what got the labels so pissed off in the first place, was never “piracy”.

“The term ‘piracy’ is not applicable to user generated content services”, he says, relying on a familiar argument. “Our position, which we have successfully defended in legal disputes, is that we do not distribute pirate content. vKontakte’s content is user-generated, and so the rights holders’ requests were directed to them. From our side, we do everything that we can to protect the rights of the holders and remove content that violates their ownership rights”.

Though it does seem that vKontakte might be doing even more “everythings” now that they are in business with the record industry. “Now that vKontake has signed the respective agreements with the major music companies”, he goes on, “it is implementing substantial measures to identify the ownership of user content on the basis of the original files provided by the rights holders”.

Which is all lovely. Though in return – aside from getting lots of content for his company’s legit music services – Dobrodeyev would also like the music industry to ensure that his firm is removed from the copyright hall of shame, aka the US government’s Notorious Markets list, which documents those who the entertainment industry reckons don’t pay much respect to the intellectual property of others. Amid all that former criticism from the major record companies, the Russian social media firm found itself included on that list.

“We certainly hope that vKontakte will be removed from ‘piracy’ lists following the settlements and taking into account the enormous amount of work that the network has undertaken in this area”.

Don’t worry Boris, I just took a sneaky look at the list of the 20 websites most hated by the music industry in 2016 and you’re not on it. In fact, here it is…

1. YouTube
2. YouTube
3. YouTube
4. YouTube
5. YouTube
6. YouTube
7. YouTube
8. YouTube
9. YouTube
10. YouTube
11. YouTube
12. YouTube
13. YouTube
14. YouTube
15. YouTube
16. YouTube
17. YouTube
18. YouTube
19. YouTube
20. YouTube (actually, that one might be a Vevo channel)