Support The Moscow Times!

Online Access to 'Game of Thrones' to Be Barred Under New Anti-Piracy Law

A Moscow court said that it had ruled to block online access to many popular television series, including "Game of Thrones," under a controversial new anti-piracy law.

The copyright holder, A Serial, had requested that the Moscow City Court restrict online access to websites illegally hosting two seasons of "Game of Thrones," along with "Boardwalk Empire," "Entourage," "The Borgias," "The Newsroom," "True Blood" and others.

On Tuesday the judge ruled that state telecommunications watchdog Roscomnadzor should be obliged "to stop providing technical means for hosting, distribution and other use of the films."

The ruling did not specify what websites would be blocked.

A controversial law that came into force on Aug. 1 — and has been dubbed the Russian SOPA after its scrapped U.S. analogue — allows courts to ban websites for hosting pirated films and television shows.

The law has faced a flurry of criticism from the Russian Internet industry over technicalities, which, industry representatives say, will enable rampant abuse. Two of the most widely cited alleged flaws are a ban by IP address — which is usually shared by several websites, all of which end up on the blacklist in the event of a ban — and the complaints procedure, which allows the copyright holder to seek a ban on the website without first contacting the uploaders of the film in question.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.