Record labels say ‘Russian Facebook’ is a haven for music piracy

17 12 2014
Three major music labels—Sony Music Russia, Universal Music Russia, and Warner Music UK, subsidiaries of the “Big Three” music labels—have each separately filed copyright suits on Thursday against vKontakte (VK), the so-called “Russian Facebook.”

The suits, filed in Saint Petersburg and Leningrasky Region Arbitration Court, charged that vKontacke has created an unlicensed music service involving a large catalogue of copyright-infringing music. The labels claim that the social networking site (which boasts 143 million registered users globally, 88 million of whom are based in Russia) has deliberately promoted “large-scale piracy” on its website, according to The Guardian.

The record companies, which focus on a sampling of artists’ work in their suits, seek court orders to remove the infringing material and to require VK to implement content identification and removal measures like audio fingerprinting to prevent unauthorized uploading of infringing materials. The labels are demanding damages of as much as $1.4 million.


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