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Sony Files Wide-ranging Suite of Piracy Suits in Moscow

Sony Interactive Entertainment is looking to permanently block several Russian ISPs, with a slew of piracy lawsuits filed in the Moscow City Court.

In the seven complaints, Sony’s UK division said that the ISPs are streaming its gaming properties without permission, and it is seeking the blocking of 20 different specific sites.

According to Muscovite outlet Izvestia, copyright action has been taken against the ISPs before (the ISPs have not been publicly named)—and that opens the door for what Russian law terms “eternal lock.” This is a punishment reserved for repeat piracy offenders, and involves a permanent ISP blockade.

“Positive changes in legislation aimed at protecting rightsholders, plus greater attention by state bodies to intellectual property rights violations, allows us today to begin to fight against piracy on the Internet,” said Sergey Klisho, general manager of Playstation in Russia.

Any blockade would be enacted under the Russian telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor. The problem, of course, is that specific applications can simply be moved to a new streaming platform, resulting in a game of whack-a-mole for piracy regulators and content owners.

“I do not believe that Roskomnadzor can block any application,” Russian Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev told Izvestia. “You can prevent Google Play or Apple’s iTunes from distributing them. But there is still one hundred and one ways left for these applications to spread. Stopping the application itself from working on the device of a particular user is a daunting task.”

Russia passed comprehensive anti-piracy law covering films and TV in 2013, with a major expansion to include music, books and software (including games) in 2015.

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