Deputy Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, alongside press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, have voiced their support for the spread of pirate copies of foreign intellectual products that are prohibited in Russia by copyright holders.
Medvedev has openly praised the act of downloading and distributing pirate copies of works banned in Russia. In an interview with Russian media and VKontakte users, he encouraged people to search for the right pirates to download from. In addition, he expressed that if Western copyright holders left Russia, it’s necessary to use pirate copies to cause them harm or even to cause their bankruptcy.
This stands in contrast to Medvedev’s former stance on piracy, when he had a negative outlook towards it and would willingly overpay for intellectual products. However, he now believes that copyright holders have received what they deserve. He has even gone as far as to suggest that Western copyright holders be stripped of the non-property rights that they have in Russia.
Press Secretary Peskov has also voiced his support of the use of pirate copies of intellectual products as a way to offer more value to Russian consumers. He further stated that Russia supports free access to information and is against the monopoly of Western copyright holders for intellectual products.
Overall, this statement from two high-ranking Russian officials could have serious implications for the international copyright community. As the discussion around digital piracy continues, it remains to be seen how this stance by Russia will impact IP laws and regulation on a global scale.