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Russia mulls online piracy measure

June 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, June 12 (UPI) -- Russian legislators said they'd review a controversial anti-piracy bill covering Internet content following widespread criticism of the measure.

Russian search engine company Yandex last week criticized the bill, complaining it could lead to an indefinite ban on certain websites. The bill gives a single court in Moscow authority over copyright issues. The court could shut down a website if it was accused of copyright violations, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Russian legislators agreed to review the measure later this week. Lawmakers said the bill could pass through the Russian parliament as early as July, RIA Novosti reported.

The report said critics of the legislation compared it to the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011, shelved in response to allegations of free speech infringement.

As many as 5,000 demonstrators turned up Wednesday in downtown Moscow to protest the detention of political activists arrested during May rallies last year. Demonstrations have occurred with more frequency since Vladimir Putin secured a third non-consecutive term in office during controversial elections in 2011.

Pro- and anti-homosexual protests turned violent Tuesday as lawmakers vetted a bill that would criminalize same-sex relationships. Russian lawmakers Wednesday sent a similar measure to the Senate for approval.

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