Russia Admits Its Strict Anti-Piracy Laws Aren’t Working… So They’ll Just Try Some More

For years, we’ve pointed out the ridiculousness of how copyright maximalists are always screaming about the need for “anti-piracy” laws to stop infringement, which they insist is killing them. In the US, new anti-piracy laws are proposed (and often passed) every couple of years — and the end result is always the same: infringement continues unabated. But rather than learn from that, and realize that a different approach is needed, maximalists always assume the answer is MOAR ENFORCEMENT!. Despite basically all of human history showing that enforcement is no real solution, including some rather detailed modern evidence, maximalists see enforcement/anti-piracy laws as the only hammer to deal with the infringement nail.

The latest example of this is in Russia, a country that the US attacked for years for its supposedly lax approach to dealing with copyright infringement. However, in the last year or so, Russia has massively ratcheted up its “anti-piracy” laws, giving the government incredible powers to censor sites that it deems infringing. And it’s been using that law, demanding sites be blocked entirely by ISPs. Yet, it appears that both providers of authorized services and government officials (all the way up to Vladimir Putin) are admitting that the law simply hasn’t been “working” to stop infringement or drive people to legitimate services.

But, rather than recognize that perhaps a different approach is needed, the Russians have apparently decided to double-down on the failed policy:

“It is necessary to consider additional steps to protect intellectual property rights,” Putin concluded.

Of course, it should be noted that there is also an ulterior motive in Russia. Putin and others long ago realized that copyright laws are an incredibly effective tool for attacking government critics, stifling dissent and censoring political opponents. And, even better, Russia knows that it can do this with US approval, because the US stupidly keeps demanding Russia do more to fight copyright infringement. So, they keep ratcheting up those laws… and then use them to stifle dissent and censor critics. But… none of it actually drives people to buy legitimate content. But I doubt the Russian government really cares, as that will just give them another excuse to ratchet up those censorship laws for other purposes.

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