Russia Agrees to Help US Fight Piracy: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

For years the office of the United States Trade Representative, in addition to US-based copyright protection agencies like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), have insisted that Russia do more to protect American intellectual property (IP).

Now, it appears the Russian government is finally prepared to work with the United States to help protect American IP.

The new agreement, known as the "Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan," is connected to Russia's recent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Trade Relations, Copyright Enforcement Extended

Russian membership in the WTO will expand trade relations between US and Russian businesses. However, Russian membership in the WTO comes with a price: the nation must clean up its act with regard to copyright violations.

When US vice president Joe Biden began discussing Russia's joining the WTO last year, he used this issue as a bargaining chip. Standing behind Biden on matters of copyright enforcement was a group of US congressmen known as the Congressional International Antipiracy Caucus.

"Addressing ... rogue sites will go a long way toward demonstrating Russia's willingness and ability to operate under the rule of law and therefore its preparedness to take on the obligations of membership [in the WTO]," the group said at the time.

Russia, US to Combat Piracy Together

Back in 2011, the office of the US Trade Representative had claimed that Russia was home to "notorious pirate markets" that thrived on IP theft.

But that could change very soon. The IPR Action Plan will reportedly include joint US-Russian efforts to openly combat Internet copyright piracy.

According to the office of the US Trade Representative, the two countries will now cooperate in executing "takedowns of infringing content," and actions "against persons responsible for IPR [Intellectual Property Rights] crimes." (Source:

In other words, Russia will now commit more resources to enforcing IP protection laws and shutting down websites that infringe on US copyrights. (Source:

Reports indicate the Russian and US governments will also work together to pass new legislation designed to curtail piracy in both countries.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk offered praise for the Russian government's new commitment to protecting intellectual property.

"Russia has made commendable progress in improving its IPR regime, and the Action Plan signals a commitment to maintain that momentum to address IPR priorities," Kirk said. (Source:

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