Site blocking was a tool that was introduced to deal with piracy, however research from Russia shows that the tool is not as effective in that region. Despite blocking thousands of domains in Russian online platforms, the market for pirate video has more than doubled in the area with the average pirate site generating around $156,000pa and others garnering well over millions.
MPAA chief Chris Dodd has applauded countries that have implemented legislation that allows for widespread site-blocking. In 2014, when the UK had blocked just a few dozen sites, Dodd described the practice as both “balanced and proportionate” while noting that it had made “tremendous progress in tackling infringing websites.” This, the former senator said, made it “one of the most effective anti-piracy measures in the world.”
Despite Dodd call for site blocking, Russian platforms are not doing so well and with good reasons. According to new research published by Group-IB and reported by Izvestia, online pirates are finding new ways to adapt to the new site blocking features and have discovered new ways to grow their business despite the new online environment.
As a matter of fact, according to the ‘Economics of Pirate Sites Report 2016’, internet pirates have been so successful that the market for Internet pirate video more than doubled in value during 2016, reaching a peak of 3.3 billion rubles ($57.2m) versus just 1.5 billion rubles ($26m) in 2015. Overall Internet piracy in 2016 was valued at a billion rubles more ($74.5m), Group-IB notes.
Dealing with internet pirates is not easy with brand executives admitting that the police had other concentrate with other pressing crimes.
“Law enforcers do not know how to search for pirates, they have other priorities,” says Sergei Semenov of the Film and TV Producers Association.
“Criminal prosecutions in this area are a great strain – single cases require a lot of time for investigation and going to court does not achieve the desired effect. We therefore need to diversify the grounds for bringing people to justice. We need to see how this can be applied.”