Piracy & Social Change| Russian Media Piracy in the Context of Censoring Practices

Ilya Kiriya, Elena Sherstoboeva


This article suggests that media piracy in Russia is a cultural phenomenon caused largely by long-standing state ideological pressures. It also questions the common approach that considers the issue of piracy in economic or legal terms. In Russia, piracy historically concerned not only copyright issues but also censoring practices, and the sharing of pirated content is a socially acceptable remnant of Soviet times. This article uses an institutional approach to show how state anticopyright policy was used in the Soviet era to curtail freedom of speech. Analysis of the new antipiracy law reveals that current state policy intended to protect copyright may also be used to control content; moreover, this analysis concludes that the new policy is not likely to curb piracy.


media piracy, Russian media, censorship, regulation, antipiracy law

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