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Russian media firms join forces to fight illegal downloads

AkopovRussian film and TV companies are creating a new group that will fight online piracy.

The group, which does not yet have a name, will represent rights holders and is being led by Amedia, the producer and pay TV operator that recently launched a new premium ‘Russian HBO’ service having snagged rights to HBO content.

At the time of the launch Amedia president Alexander Akopov told TBI that the main competition for the new service his company launched comes not from rival pay TV services but from pirates.

“There is a huge demand for that HBO quality product and until now it had been provided in Russia by pirates and millions are watching it that way,” he told TBI. “We need to be quicker than the pirates.”

The formation of the group comes as local reports suggest Russian president Vladimir Putin has approved new rules cracking down on websites enabling illegal downloading of TV and film content.