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United States and Russia establish joint action plan to combat piracy

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The United States and Russia have established an agreement to work together to fight intellectual property violations. As specified in the Intellectual Rights Protection Action Plan, Russia has agreed to shut down infringing websites, and pump more money into law enforcement, including physical raids to destroy infringing pirated content — methods of enforcement that are already present in the United States. The agreement also states that Russia will establish a law that will determine ISP liability in cases involving infringement (though it's not clear what kind of "safe harbor" provisions, if any, will be given to Russia's ISPs).

The US hails the agreement, as it should — it focuses on actions Russia can take to extend US copyright protection abroad. "This step is particularly important in light of Russia's recent membership in the World Trade Organization and the application of the WTO agreement between us," US ambassador Ron Kirk said in a statement. "Russia has made commendable progress in improving its regime, and the Action Plan signals a commitment to maintain that momentum to address IPR priorities."

The US and Russia will share best practices to strengthen enforcement efforts, and Russia may even adapt the US' looming Copyright Alert System: a tactic to combat piracy in which internet service providers send illegal downloaders a series of warnings, referred to as "graduated response." The Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan also states that both countries will meet regularly to work on the shared goal of content protection and enforcement.