Russian Media Piracy in the Context of Censoring Practices

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-851
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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.

Research Area(s)

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