To file-swapping pirates, the terms “free download” and “Shady Russian warez sites” are almost interchangeable – and the US government knows it. Washington’s exerted a lot of pressure on Moscow in an effort to shut down numerous sites (most notably allofmp3.com) that infringed on the copyrights of US citizens and companies. But hold your horses! At least one Russian minister thinks top US sites like YouTube (and Google, YouTube’s parent company) regularly violate Russian intellectual property laws, too.
TorrentFreak found the claim buried deep inside the US diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks recently released. A confidential cable dated November 13, 2009, says that American embassy officials met with Ministry of Economic Development Deputy Minister Stanislav Voskresenskiy to pow-wow about an upcoming IP meeting in Washington. After bragging about Russia’s gains against in the IP enforcement world, Voskresenskiy painted a bleak picture regarding the world’s ability to combat those dastardly pirates.
“Voskresenskiy went on to state that, in his opinion, no country in the world is prepared to fight Internet piracy. He argued that all existing laws, including laws in the U.S., are antiquated and do not address new technological trends,” the cable reports.
“As an example, (Voskresenskiy) stated that YouTube and Google (as YouTube’s owner) should be shut down because they do not conform to current Russian IPR laws. He admitted that this was not feasible, but continued to emphasize that these entities need to follow local laws, even if the laws are outdated.”
It’s been a couple of years since Voskresenskiy made the claims, and both YouTube and Google are (obviously) still around, both in the US and Russia. But what do you think? Is his claim valid? Are US sites like YouTube just as damaging as the Russian warez sites sitting on the darker edges of the Web?