The Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has decided to ban the country’s 15 most popular torrent from early 2016. This extreme step is being seen as a way to tackle the widespread piracy problem and ban these websites that aid the pirates.
As per Russia’s telecoms regulatory bodies, Russia’s top 15 most popular torrent sites will be permanently blocked in 2016. According to a national survey carried out in the country, recently four out of ten torrent users use the protocol to avoid paying, while almost as many do so for other reasons, including content availability.
This step has come as a surprise as Russia’s previous record for cracking down on piracy has been miserable, but now it’s one of the few countries to implement such extreme step. Notably, it was only in September that Russia had restricted access to close to 280 pirate sites, after the introduction of a new law in 2013. However, Roscomnadzor – the telecom watchdog – has taken steps to permanently block sites that make the copyrighted content available without permission.
As per the predictions just made by Roscomnadzor, the year 2016 will see top 15 torrent sites being permanently blocked. According to a survey conducted by it, 95% of people do not use tools to bypass locks, thus the traffic will reduce to a significant extent.
While 37% of the voters said that they used torrents because they didn’t want to pay, around 36% admitted to using torrents for other reasons such as the content being unavailable through regular channels. Around 17% of the voters said that they didn’t know where to buy the content they were looking for, legally. The other 10% reported not using torrents. Roscomnadzor issued a statement after the poll where it said that the content providers need to find the right mix of pricing and availability to maintain a balance between the two.
Given its generally poor record for cracking down on piracy, it’s perhaps somewhat of a surprise that Russia is now one of the front-runners when it comes to piracy blocking.
It would be interesting to see what story this prediction may result into. Tell us your views.