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Court Orders Google to Remove Pirate Music App or Face Block * TorrentFreak

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Following a complaint from a division of Warner, the Moscow City Court ordered Google to remove a pirate music app from Google Play. This is the first such order following new legislation adopted in October. Failure to remove the software may result in blockage by Russian Internet service providers.

After two years of work, the Russian State Duma passed new legislation aimed at cracking down on the dissemination of apps that violate copyright law.

After being signed by President Putin, the law came into effect on October 1, 2020, putting pressure on app developers and the pirate app ecosystem itself, rather than directly attacking illegal content.

In essence, the law requires mobile markets, such as Google Play, Apple’s App Store, and Huawei’s AppGallery, to take action to get allegedly infringing apps to act legally following a formal complaint. If not, these stores are required to prevent access and if this fails, local ISPs may be required to implement blocking measures.

Complaints quickly filed against Apple and Google

As previously reported, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music and a division of Warner (SBA Music Publishing) wasted no time in filing preliminary injunction requests against Apple with the Moscow City Court in early October.

The complaints target three apps on the App Store that allegedly allow users to access music without paying for it – PewPee: Music Player, iMus Music Player and Music Offline Music Download. Soon after, similar complaints were also filed by the companies against Google, targeting apps like Music Downloader – Free MP3 Downloader.

Moscow court issues first order under new law

According to the statement obtained by Russian publication Kommersant, SBA Music Publishing asked local telecoms Roscomndazor to prevent Google from “creating conditions” for the illegal distribution of three songs owned by Russian pop group Cream Soda.

The request was granted and the Moscow City Court has now ordered Google to block access to the Music Downloader app. Representing the plaintiff, Roman Lukyanov of the Semenov & Pevzner law firm told Kommersant that this was the court’s first decision to block apps that violate copyright law.

Potential scale in law

Given the two years spent developing the new law, many expected the framework to be watertight. However, according to Anatoly Semyonov, chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Committee on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries, there is a potential loophole.

Quite simply, if a pirated app is later renamed, rights holders will have to file a whole new court application to have it removed, meaning that at least in the short term, pirated apps could potentially escape blocking. .

Nevertheless, following the order of the Moscow City Court, Google is now required to prevent access to the infringing application on Google Play or to face legal action itself. If the application is not removed quickly, local ISPs may be instructed to block access to the software in the same way they do for pirate sites.

However, given correspondence from Google and Apple last month, in which they pledged to cooperate to remove pirate apps, this seems unlikely.

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