Petition against Russian anti-piracy law passes 100,000

An online petition against Russia’s draconian anti-piracy law has received 100,000 signatures a number required to send it to the government for discussion.

The petition was posted on the Russian Popular Initiatives (ROI) web portal in early July, two days after the new law against film piracy that allows copyright holders to request the court to block contested content before ruling on its legality, without requiring them to try to contact the uploader before going to court.

The petition says that the anti-piracy law violates the presumption of innocence and allows violations on the part of copyright holders. It urges authorities to suspend the law and include amendments suggested by the Internet community, or scrap the law altogether.

Russian citizens’ proposals posted on the ROI web portal have the status of ‘popular’ initiatives. If an initiative gains at least 100,000 votes from citizens in a year, it must be submitted to the government to study and decide whether to send it to Russia’s parliament.

The Russian anti-piracy bill has been compared to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), a draconian piece of copyright-protecting legislation stalled in the US Congress since 2012 after mass protests from the Internet industry and web users.

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