Video Hosting Site DailyMotion Permanently Blocked in Russia

Update: 26 Sep 2017 No state reply yet
Year 16 Feb 2017 Country Russian Federation Category Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ Alert level Level 2
16 Feb 2017 Russian Federation Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ Level 2
No state reply yet

Video-hosting platform DailyMotion has been permanently blocked in Russia after allegations of copyright infringement were brought against the company by ‘Pyatnitsa’ TV channel. The platform, owned by French company Vivendi, is the third most popular video sharing site in the world, and has approximately 5 million users in Russia. ‘Pyatnitsa’, which is owned by Gazprom Media, first brought charges against DailyMotion in March 2016 for hosting video clips of its programmes without permission. As a result, specific URLs were blocked by court order on two occasions in 2016. Under repeat infringement legislation intended to combat piracy, in force since 2015, the site was added to a list of repeat offenders and ordered to be blocked by Moscow City Court in December. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s regulatory body with oversight of online content, implemented the decision in January 2017. Representatives of Daily Motion have said that the company was unaware of any ongoing court procedure and would “take all necessary steps to make contact with relevant authorities in Russia to resolve the issue.”

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26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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