The Russian government is reportedly set to ease copyright laws to offset sanctions imposed by Western nations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, effectively legalizing piracy of TV shows, movies, software, and video games.
In an attempt at circumventing sanctions, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development proposed easing piracy legislation.
“The possibility of lifting restrictions on the use of intellectual property contained in certain goods, the supply of which to Russia is limited, is being considered,” said the Ministry. “This will smooth out the impact on the market of breaks in supply chains, as well as the shortage of goods and services that arose due to new sanctions by Western countries.”
The government has announced that Russian companies no longer have an obligation to pay patent holders for the use of the intellectual property for nations that have sanctioned the country, effectively legalizing piracy.
Russian local media reports that the new laws will allow Russian firms to use innovations from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia without having to pay for their intellectual property.
Film studios and publishers like Disney and Netflix, and video game publishers like Microsoft, Sony and Activision-Blizzard, have joined U.S. sanctions against Russia by restricting their services in Russia at the request of the Ukrainian government.
As Rebel News reported, payment providers like PayPal, Visa and Mastercard have also suspended their services in Russia, impacting the lives of average Russian citizens.
The move by the Russian government follows calls from Russian politicians like Dmitry Ionin, who proposed that the country unblock torrent websites like RUtracker to help Russians pirate Hollywood films and TV shows.
“Since many Western studios have refused to release new films in Russia, the parliamentarian believes that thanks to the torrent tracker, users will be able to watch Hollywood films,” reported Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Russian citizens are reeling from the suspension of services normally provided by U.S. companies, which also includes Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch, which suspended payments to Russian streamers. The move has left many Russian content creators high and dry without access to thousands of dollars in personal income.