Internet Piracy in Russia in Decline after Years of Growth

Russia’s Internet piracy market will drop 27% to $63.5 million by the end of the year, Vedomosti reports citing experts from cybersecurity firm Group-IB. Over the past five years, revenues of illegal video services have been on the rise, Vedomosti writes.

The peak was recorded in 2016 when bootleggers doubled their profits to $62 million, according to Group-IB’s evaluation. Last year, the growth slowed to just 2.3% and the entire video piracy market was estimated at $87 million.

Experts at Group-IB believe that one of key reasons behind the decreasing revenues of bootleg video services is an anti-piracy memorandum, which was signed last November by major Russian media and Internet companies. The deal stipulates deleting illegal copies of movies and TV series from search engines without a court’s ruling upon the request of copyright holders. Since the memorandum came into effect, copyright holders have included 600,000 links to the registry.

The heads of major Russian movie-streaming services, interviewed by Vedomosti, share the conclusions by Group-IB’s experts, saying that the struggle against piracy is one of the factors contributing to the rising profits earned by legal video services.

“It’s become more difficult to find movies through pirate services and it’s dangerous to be a bootlegger. They have started detecting and neutralizing them,” said Viktor Chekanov, Director General of Megogo Russia.