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25 Mar, 2023 19:38

Kremlin backs ex-president's 'piracy' call

The US and its allies who “stole” Russia’s assets are the real "thieves," spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told journalists
Kremlin backs ex-president's 'piracy' call

The term “pirated content" has a whole new meaning in the contemporary world, the Kremlin told journalists on Saturday. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was offering  support to a suggestion by former President Dmitry Medvedev to allow Russians to download western entertainment content for free.

It is Russia that has been outright “robbed” by the US and its allies, Peskov said, adding that Moscow has to deal with “pirates” in the West anyway. “They have seized our assets, stolen our assets,” the Kremlin spokesman told journalists, saying that “before, such people were called ‘pirates’; now, they are called ‘bandits’.”

Earlier on Saturday, Medvedev suggested finding “proper pirates” and using them to obtain content from western entertainment companies that left Russia over its conflict with Ukraine. Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, also said that any such content should be put online for free to make the western entertainment giants suffer “maximum damage so that they go broke.”

The companies that have ceased or paused operations in Russia over the past year include film industry giants Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, and Sony, as well as streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, Megogo, and Amazon Prime Video.

According to Medvedev, the Russian authorities recently discussed the possibility of depriving foreign content providers of some of their non-property rights in the country.

Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry earlier ruled out adding entertainment content to its parallel import list, arguing that audio and visual content cannot be properly classified as “goods” for such purposes. In February, the Russian Culture Ministry said it was preparing a bill that would ban showing pirated movies without screening licenses in cinemas.