In Russia, pressure is building on search giant Yandex, which is being targeted by rightsholders from multiple directions. Their main point of concern is that Yandex’s indexes sometimes carry links to allegedly infringing content. However, Yandex believes that the current law requires rightsholders to file complaints against those actually hosting the content.
While that particular battle plays out, Yandex now has another problem on its hands. Last September the country passed new legislation that prevents sites (and their mirrors and clones) that have already been blocked in Russia from being indexed by search engines.
It now transpires that last October, the Association for Copyright Protection on the Internet (AZAPI) filed a complaint against Yandex. The group, which represents the interests of book publishers, claimed that links to previously blocked sites (including torrent giant RuTracker and eBook site Librusec) were available in Yandex’s search results.
AZAPI director Maxim Ryabyko told Kommersant that the complaint is first to be filed against a search engine under the legislation passed back in September 2017. When a legal entity like Yandex breaches the law, it can be subjected to fines between 500,000 and 700,000 rubles (US$10,700) per instance. However, things may not be straightforward.
According to the publication, the links to the blocked sites only appear via Yandex’s recommendation algorithm which was launched in the summer of 2018. Ryabyko says that when people search for mirrors of blocked sites and try several in a row, the algorithm sometimes decides that the user didn’t find what they were looking for so it gives direct links instead.
This complex arrangement means that telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor may carry out its own tests and not trigger the same results, leaving Yandex in a position to say that the links aren’t indexed or appeared simply by chance. In any event, Roscomnadzor will have the final say, which could potentially result in Yandex having to take stronger action to ensure infringing links don’t appear in its indexes.
As recently reported, a hearing should have taken place Monday at the Moscow City Court in the case of TNT-TV versus Yandex, after the former accused the latter of failing to remove infringing links from search results.
However, according to local sources, that hearing has now been delayed until November 9 in order to give the parties more time to present technical evidence.
“We continue to insist on the need for technical expertise,” Yandex said in a statement.
“We also continue to believe that the demands made to us are impracticable. The search system does not post content to the Internet and it cannot separate the disputed content in search results from legal options.”
from TorrentFreak https://ift.tt/2AiFpjH