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Wikipedia ‘under threat’ from new Russian law
July 10, 2013, 1:05 pm

[Getty Images]

Russian court rulings may block access to pirated content under the new law [Getty Images]

Wikipedia Russia may become a victim of the country’s new anti-piracy law that comes into force next month.

The anti-piracy legislation was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning on July and is meant to improve the mechanisms of intellectual property rights protection.

Russian court rulings may block access to pirated content under the new law.

Wikipedia Russia Executive director Stanislav Kozlovsky said that the company is under threat as it has links to sources that might have copied content.

Marina Pustilnik, Executive Editor of Russia! magazine, however, thinks concerns over a ‘possible ban’ on Wikipedia Russia are overblown.

“It is unclear how the anti-piracy law will be tied to the activities of Wikipedia that disseminates free educational content, unless, of course, the executive director of Wikimedia Russia knows something that we don’t,” Pustilnik told The BRICS Post.

“Anyway, statements such as “may cause” are nothing more than speculation at this point. If, however, in their zeal to enforce the law, Russian officials will go as far as to block Wikipedia, it will be a foolish and half-baked measure, because Wikipedia will still be available to millions of smartphone users through relevant applications both for iOS and Android,” added Pustilnik.

This is not the first time that Wikipedia has been under threat in Russia.

Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said in April that the website could be blocked after 15 of the articles published on the site were blacklisted under a different law – protecting children against obscene content.

In 2012, Wikipedia joined major internet groups and protested against proposed anti-piracy measures discussed by US lawmakers.

Daria Chernyshova in Moscow, Russia for The BRICS POST, with inputs from Agencies

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