Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, multiple divisions within the entertainment industry have voiced their support of Ukraine by blocking access to Russia. Netflix, WarnerMedia, and Discovery announced that most of its services will be suspended in Russia. Sony has stopped all business in Russia, including blocking the home video release of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Spotify and Live Nation temporarily stopped business in Russia. Spotify also suspended Russian premium accounts. Eurovision organizers banned Russia from participating in the 2022 competition. Those within the video game industry have also voiced their support for Ukraine. Companies such as Microsoft, EA, Bloober Team, CD Projekt Red, Nintendo and PlayStation have suspended game sales in Russia. Following these developments, TorrentFreak reports that to mitigate the sanctions placed against Russia, they are pushing to legalize some software piracy.
The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia proposed a solution to the sanctions with the document titled Piracy Action Plan for Ensuring the Development of the Russian Economy in the Conditions of External Sanctions Pressure has an item that says “Cancellation of liability for the use of software (SW) unlicensed in the Russian Federation, owned by a copyright holder from countries that have supported the sanctions.” As of now, the law in Russia states that unlicensed software is illegal. If the new measures are passed, software piracy will become non-punishable. The new proposal covers both civil and criminal liability and piracy of software for which there are no Russian alternatives would be permissible while the sanctions are in place.
“The possibility of lifting restrictions on the use of intellectual property contained in certain goods, the supply of which to Russia is limited, is being considered,” said the Ministry. “This will smooth out the impact on the market of breaks in supply chains, as well as the shortage of goods and services that arose due to new sanctions by Western countries.”
Депутат Госдумы Дмитрий Ионин предложил разблокировать RuTracker
Так как многие западные студии отказались от выпуска новых кинолент в России, парламентарий считает, что благодаря торрент-трекеру пользователи смогут увидеть голливудские фильмы. pic.twitter.com/muO1VitjTO
— Газета.Ru (@GazetaRu) March 3, 2022
Gazeta.ru reported that Russian politician Dmitry Ionin suggested that the infamous torrent site RuTracker could be used to see new films in Russia. RuTracker is ‘permanently’ blocked by ISPs in Russia for repeat copyright. Users of the ISP, MTS, reported that they could access the site but the reasons why are unclear.