Industry News

Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Sberbank and Rambler Group create the leader of the Russian media and entertainment market

“This is a landmark deal not only for us, but for the entire Russian media market.”

Herman Gref, President, Chairman of Board of Sberbank

Sberbank decided to invest in the Rambler Group in order to develop a leader of the Russian media and entertainment market. The parties have signed legally binding documents. The digital products and services of the Rambler Group will be integrated into Sberbank ecosystem. Sberbank’s participation will consist of investments in the Rambler Group capital (cash-in).

As a result of this partnership, Sberbank ecosystem will be complemented with Rambler Group services and brands, including Okko, the most popular and fast-growing online cinema, “Khudozhestvenniy” movie theater, and more than 30 popular Runet resources such as,,,,, Rambler.Касса, LiveJournal and others. At the moment the monthly number of unique users of these digital assets is 56 million people.

Partnership with the Rambler Group will give an additional impulse to Sberbank ecosystem, complementing it with the products which provide daily audience involvement and increase its loyalty. At the same time, Sberbank Group will become one of the market leaders in terms of aggregate traffic at its digital sites.

Closing of the deal is expected upon coordination of antitrust agreement and the fulfillment of suspensive conditions in the third quarter of 2019.

Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Europe’s controversial overhaul of online copyright receives final approval: a “dark day for internet freedom” or a “big step ahead”?

On March 26th, the European Parliament has given final approval to the Copyright Directive, a package of legislation designed to update copyright law in Europe for the internet age. The Copyright Directive itself contains reasonable amendments to laws enforced in 2001, but two regulations – Article 11 or the “link tax” which lets publishers charge big media platforms when they display snippets of news stories, and Article 13 (so-called the “upload filter”) that obliges sites to stop users from uploading copyrighted content – are the most critisized.
Experts in copyright law said that despite both jubilant and unhappy reactions, the real test is yet to come. The directive will now be passed on to EU member states, who will have to translate it into national law over the next two years.

Monday 25 February, 2019

Mirror sites and permanent blocking actions: what should we expect from online piracy in 2019?

Overall piracy situation in Russia remains challenging, according to several international reports recently submitted.
Russian online piracy has a huge international impact – the most popular online pirate resources such as, are hosted and administrated in Russia. In 2018 Russia was once again put into the Priority Watch List – a list of countries with inadequate intellectual property laws which are deemed of concern, published in the “Special 301 Report” of the US Trade Representative. However, WebKontrol have noticed the positive development of Russian anti-piracy legislation over the last five years – back in 2013 the first anti-piracy law was brought by the State Duma; On May 1, 2015 new rules made it possible for sites to be permanently blocked. In October 2017 another legislative amendment came into force allowing right holders to target so-called mirror sites. Followed by the 2015 and 2017 adoptions, the law positively tackled online piracy. Over 100 pirate resources have been blocked during 2016 and more than 800 in 2017.
WebKontrol submitted an analytical report that summarized the results of anti-piracy actions taken in 2018. The report includes data on thousands of pirate resources and illegally distributed content. Research showed that the streaming resources dominate with more than 70%, but WebKontrol believe that streaming websites will continue to grow in numbers because of the constant reappearance of mirror sites. Presumably, the market share of file-sharing platforms is most likely to drop in 2019, while torrent-trackers and UGC-platforms should remain on the same position.
Notwithstanding that the most productive blocking campaign took place in 2018 – over 3 000 sites were shut down permanently for copyright infringement – both Russian and foreign right holders plan to bring more site blocking actions in 2019.
Site-blocking proved to be an effective tool against rapidly growing traffic.



Tuesday 19 February, 2019

End of piracy era

WebKontrol have noticed the positive development of Russian anti-piracy legislation over the last five years; however, Russian consumers still do not recognize pirate sites as wrongdoers. According to the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) 81% of Russians do not treat online content as a valuable product (as compared to food or clothing) and disagree that right holders should receive compensation for downloading or watching audiovisual work.
Notwithstanding that online-piracy situation in Russia remains challenging, WebKontrol noticed the positive tendency of anti-piracy campaign – the legislation has evolved and the most productive blocking campaign took place in 2018 – over 3 000 sites were shut down permanently for copyright infringement.
The analysis of Similarweb database proved that the monthly traffic of most blocked websites dropped dramatically. For instance, one of the most popular streaming site has lost from 90 million to 215 000 of its monthly visits since February 2017.
In November 2018 Russia’s largest IT companies and right holders signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOU) designed to rid the search platforms of infringing content. WebKontrol confirmed that the delisting mechanism works just fine: Yandex removes infringing URLs which helps to clean up the search results.
Site-blocking proved to be an effective tool against rapidly growing traffic and both Russian and foreign right holders plan to bring more site blocking actions in 2019.


Monday 28 January, 2019

Russia Sees Huge Increase in Pirate Sites & Blocking Could Be to Blame

New research published by anti-piracy outfit WebKontrol has revealed a 43% increase in pirate sites during 2018.

“The overall traffic of pirate sites is decreasing notwithstanding the fact that the number of such sites is growing rapidly. Presumably, the main reason for this is the newly created mirror sites,” WebKontrol CEO Olga Valigourskaia informs TorrentFreak.

The government, meanwhile, is sharpening its blocking system.


Monday 29 October, 2018

Rightholders complained to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

While rightholders of videocontent are negotiating with Yandex to sign an anti-piracy Memorandum, publishing houses try to clean up search engines results though court. Association for copyright protection (AZAPI), representing Eksmo Publishing House, has filed a complaint against the search engine to the Supreme court.
The head of  WK Legal Department Alena Kuzmina doubts that the Supreme court will cancel the previous instance decision.

Wednesday 20 June, 2018

The EU Parliament adopted new anti-piracy proposals

In course of modernizing the EU copyright law, the EU Parliament adopted new legislative proposals. They include the request for online services to control any uploaded content and implement measures to prevent copyright infringements. It also means prevention from repeated upload of infringing content.

The final decision on the copyright reform will be made next spring.


Wednesday 13 June, 2018

The State Duma introduced fines for search engines for links to pirate resources

On June 5, 2018 the State Duma adopted a new law, according to which search systems are obliged to pay fines for provision of links to pirate websites. According to the law, search systems shall file applications on connection to Roskomnadzor’s register of blocked websites within 30 days. The fines for non-compliance will constitute 50,000 rubles for officials, and 500,000-700,000 rubles for legal entities. It is also reported that this law applies to foreign search systems and software services which perform financial and business operations on the territory of Russia.


Scan the global web for your video content

Request a demo