First Content Ban Imposed Under Anti-Piracy Law

TV channel TNT has become the first company to successfully file claims against illegal distributors of their content under new anti-piracy legislation.

The Moscow City Court has ruled that the popular sitcoms "Interny (Interns)," "Sasha, Tanya" and "Univer. Novaya Obshchaga (University. New Dorms)" are to be deleted from the torrent site rutor.org. The British comedy series, "The IT Crowd," is to be deleted from turbofilm.ru, Prime reported Wednesday.

This is TNT's second petition to the court. The channel first tried on Aug. 1, the day the law came into effect, but the complaint was rejected due to insufficient documentation.

The court has sent a writ of execution to the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, which must order the sites' hosting servers to temporarily block the content.

If after 24 hours the host servers do not remove the content, the inspection service will go straight to the service provider to block access.

TNT must file a lawsuit within 15 days or the material will go back online.

The Internet community has largely opposed the new law, accusing the authorities of trying to impose censorship. Most Russian service providers don't have the resources necessary to block a single page, critics have said, meaning that they will block entire IP addresses and blameless web pages.

The search engine Yandex said in a statement that Internet companies could use the law to sabotage each other, threatening fair competition.

The law raced through parliament in less than three weeks after receiving President Vladimir Putin's support in late May. The president signed it into law on July 2.

Read more