YouTube may be blocked by Russian internet providers starting late July. The Russian media supervision service Roskomnadzor added some videos posted there to its list of banned webpages due to copyright infringement, they said.
YouTube might be banned for illegally posting several Russian TV series owned by the Russian TNT-network company. “Pre-action remedies were implemented against YouTube video hosting in order to protect the exclusive property rights on two TV series at the request of the TNT-network company in accordance with a ruling by the Moscow City Court,” the Roskomnadzor statement says.
Russian authorities also warned internet users that adding particular YouTube page indexes to the ban list may lead to the blocking of the whole website by some ISPs making it impossible for their clients to access the site. Roskomnadzor has repeatedly provided notifications demanding YouTube delete the illegal content. However, the video is still available.
If the illegal content is not deleted by YouTube before July 27, Roskomnadzor will order internet providers to block links to the videos, which may block the whole of YouTube. However, the media watchdog hopes the world’s leading video site will abide by the court ruling and that bans won’t be necessary.
“The YouTube administration has always met our demands and erased illegal content, although it is not the case this time for reasons that remain unknown to us. We hope we won’t be forced to add YouTube to the ban list,” Roskomnadzor press secretary Vadim Ampelonsky told Russian Vedomosti news. A Google representative told Vedomosti, the company was aware of the situation and was looking into it.
In April, Roskomnadzor demanded YouTube erase illegal content connected to the same TV series. This was done, but the TV show appeared again on YouTube. After the recent monitoring, Roskomnadzor discovered 137 cases of posting illegal content on YouTube and initiated the banning procedure. The Russian website ban list was initially established in 2012 to counter illegal content such as child pornography, suicide guides and drug production technologies.
After Roskomnadzor adds a webpage to the list, Russian ISPs are obliged to block access to the page to provide users with security. However, they are often unable to ban a specific page, so they block the whole website. Usually, Roskomnadzor doesn’t tell website owners about adding them to the ban list, but it made an exception in case of YouTube as it has such a huge audience.