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Russian publishers ask authorities to punish Facebook after Instagram ignores demands to delete mass amounts of pirated content

Russian publishers ask authorities to punish Facebook after Instagram ignores demands to delete mass amounts of pirated content
A Russian association dedicated to protecting copyright on the internet has requested that the country’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, impose a punishment on Facebook after it was found to be allowing pirated content on Instagram.

Facebook has owned Instagram since 2012.

The complainant group, named the Association for Protection of Copyrights on the Internet, represents major Russian publishers, including the well-known AST. In a letter to Roskomnadzor, the association told the government that Instagram ranks second in the world for pirating books, with its members finding about 3,000 in user accounts.

This is, however, significantly less than the Dubai-based Telegram, which was founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov. This app received an injunction earlier this year.

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According to the publisher’s association, Instagram members have been allowed to post videos, including audiobooks, as audio tracks, enabling users to listen to them without having to pay. Instagram has repeatedly ignored their requests to remove the pirated content, they say, and have asked Roskomnadzor to hold Facebook to account. Under current law, it could be fined between 800,000 and 4 million rubles.

“Such statistics and law enforcement experience allow us to conclude that Instagram allows pirates to operate,” AZAPI board member Maxim Ryabyko told Russian daily Vedomosti. “The fight against them is not comprehensive and effective.”

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Russian publishers believe that the book market loses around 15% to 20% of its business every year due to piracy, amounting to about 1.5 billion rubles ($20,580,000) annually.

If the publishers are successful in convincing Roskomnadzor, it would not be the first time that the social media giant has been punished. Thus far, Facebook has been fined over 90 million rubles ($1.2 million) for various offenses.

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