First lawsuit filed Moscow City Court to ban YouTube service in Russia

The first lawsuit in Russia was filed in Moscow City Court against the complete ban on YouTube. And it is well established

First lawsuit filed Moscow City Court to ban YouTube service in Russia

Sources said that the company Ontarget (Ontargate LLC) has filed a lawsuit in Moscow City Court against blocking YouTube in Russia.

Ontarget LLC, the developer of personnel assessment tests, part of the Detech Group, filed a lawsuit in Moscow City Court to protect exclusive rights against the American Google LLC. It will be considered on June 5. It follows from the court materials.

The CEO and founder of the company Svetlana Simonenko told Kommersant that some YouTube channels offer job seekers to “trick future employers and pass tests for them,” including posting tests developed by Ontarget. 

According to her, the lawsuit consists of completely blocking YouTube, as the violations have repeated: in 2018, the Moscow City Court has already obliged Google to remove the content in question. Google shies away from executing the decision, the content is still not deleted. Ms. Simonenko says. Google did not respond to a request from Kommersant.

During the trial in 2018, a Google representative in court stated that the company is not a proper defendant, since it does not act as a YouTube hosting provider, but the court denied this argument, citing data from Roskomnadzor and public sources. 

In an appeal in 2019, Google tried to challenge the decision, but the court objected that it “does not eliminate the threat of a plaintiff’s rights violation in the future.” The court did not consider the Google cassation appeal.

YouTube is the most popular video hosting service in the world and in Russia. According to Mediascope, its monthly audience in Russia in February amounted to 45.4 million people, every day 19.6 million Russians visit the site from phones and computers.
Interviewed by Kommersant experts are not aware that claims to block YouTube were announced in court earlier. This will lead to a massive restriction of the rights of Russian citizens and is contrary to the spirit of the Civil Code and the Constitution emphasizes the leading analyst of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications Karen Ghazaryan.

The most active participants in disputes over pirated content are not trying to block platforms forever, so as not to “anger the people and not confuse the Moscow City Court,” says Anatoly Semenov, deputy chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries. According to him, the problem for the Moscow City Court is that one of the norms of the law "On Information" actually obliges the court to block the entire site and not just links that violate the law.

The Moscow City Court may ask the Constitutional Court about the legal uncertainty of this rule, or justify its refusal to apply it due to the excessiveness of the stated requirements, says Anatoly Semenov: “It is clear that the requirement to block the whole YouTube due to several videos is excessive, and the Moscow City Court should refuse the normal course of events due to the fact that it is not proportional to the violation. But the court itself cannot replace the requirement to block the entire site with the requirement to block individual links. ” 

Theoretically, complete blocking of YouTube, in this case, is possible, but the Moscow City Court may admit the plaintiff’s claim of abuse, agrees on Roman Lukyanov, general director of Semenov & Pevzner. “Such a legal creative as blocking a separate YouTube channel is also possible - I think

The practice of the Moscow City Court is that it does not completely block large platforms, this is unlikely even with repeated violations, said a representative of DLA Piper Rus, lawyer Yulianna Tabastaeva. He reminded that only those resources that themselves become infringers, such as LinkedIn, which refused to store Russian personal data in the Russian Federation, or those where the regular distribution of pirated books and movies. They are subject to eternal restraint in Russia.

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