Russia plans to ease piracy of games, movies to counter Western sanctions

Russia plans to relax intellectual property rights to offset sanctions imposed by Western nations in response to a military strike on Ukraine. Recently, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development proposed simplifying piracy laws, which would effectively legalize piracy in games, movies, TV shows, and more. The West, including the United States, has announced sanctions against Russian elite and financial institutions in order to deter aggression in Ukraine. These measures target the Russian economy and create pressure to end the war in Ukraine.

However, Russia seems to be looking for ways to reduce the impact of the sanctions. The Ministry of Economic Development says it is considering lifting the ban on the use of intellectual property in certain products, the supply of which is limited to Russia. “This will smooth out the market impact of the break in the supply chain, as well as the shortage of goods and services caused by the new sanctions imposed by the West.”

According to a report by London-based City AM, Russian companies will have no obligation to use intellectual property from any country that has imposed sanctions on Russia.

The state-run newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that Russian politician Dmitry Ainin had suggested that the country lift the blockade of the torrents suit Rutracker to help the Russians Hollywood movie pirates. The lawsuit was probably funded by a large Hollywood studio, which has suspended its release in Russian theaters.

Disney and Sony Pictures have suspended the release of their films in Russian theaters following the Moscow attack on Ukraine.

Warner Bros. has pulled The Batman out of release in Russia. The Robert Pattinson-starrer is set to release in the country on March 3. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. We look forward to a speedy and peaceful resolution of this tragedy, “a WarnerMedia spokesman said in a statement.

Disney said in a statement: “In the wake of the unprovoked aggression in Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are taking a break from the release of movie theaters in Russia, including Pixar’s upcoming Turning Red (review).”

“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” the US entertainment giant added. “In the meantime, considering the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide emergency assistance and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Sony Pictures also said it would halt its planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming title Morbius. This is “due to the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the uncertainty and humanitarian crisis in the region,” the agency said in a statement.

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