The Russian Supreme Arbitration Court settled the dispute between leading Russian television channel RTR and social network Vkontakte on the liability of the social network for the transfer and use of unlicensed content on the site. The court ruled that Vkontakte is not responsible for its users’ copyright violations.
RTR filed the action against the social network in 2008, demanding compensation of 3 million rubles for the placement of unlicensed copies of a film on the pages of Vkontakte. The court took into account that both parties agreed with the technical possibility to identify the user who posted illegal content and who, consequently, must incur the liability.
“It’s a bad precedent for the industry,” commented Alexander Blinov, CEO of Gala Records / EMI. Court proceedings on other outstanding IP rights-holder claims on Vkontakte.ru and Mail.ru were suspended pending the decision of the Supreme Arbitration Court on this case.
In an open letter of October, 2010, Vkontakte and other key Internet players expressed their readiness to delete litigious copyrighted content from their servers upon demand from copyright owners. Recently a 26-year-old Muscovite was prosecuted for illegal distribution of recordings through Vkontakte.