[WMCEE-l] Wikimedia Ukraine opposes anti-piracy bill in Ukraine

Wikimedia Ukraine director at wikimedia.in.ua
Thu Nov 12 14:19:39 CET 2015

Dear all,

Please find below the letter from Yury Bulka, a board member of Wikimedia
Ukraine, explaining the ongoing situation with proposed anti-piracy law in
Ukraine and its dangers in details.

The draft law was registered with the Parliament of Ukraine in late
October. We held a joint press conference today, as we believe that the
proposed bill, if passed, will constitute a serious threat to freedom of
expression and privacy in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet, inevitably
impacting Wikipedia as well (at least, but not limited to, by endangering
the Internet sources that Wikipedia relies

The funny thing is that if it is passed, the Law will enable us (literally)
to block the web site of our own Parliament, as Ukraine does not have the
freedom of panorama and the site of ''the sole body of legislative power in
Ukraine'' contains the image of Verkhovna Rada building, and the building
is still copyrighted, as its architect Volodymyr Zabolotny died only in
1962 [1]

The pictures from the event are here [2]

[1] http://rada.gov.ua/

Best regards,
ED of Wikimedia Ukraine

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yury Bulka <setthemfree at privacyrequired.com>
Date: 2015-11-12 14:43 GMT+02:00
Subject: Wikimedia Ukraine opposes anti-piracy bill in Ukraine
To: director at wikimedia.in.ua
Cc: vira.motorko at gmail.com, press at wikimedia.in.ua

Dear list,

We're writing to let you know of a recent law initiative in Ukraine
that we, as well as free-press-related NGOs in Ukraine decided to
publicly alarm about.

Today, at 10:30 local time in Kyiv we held a joint press conference
[1] with representatives of Media Law Institute and the
"Telekrytyka" NGO about the dangers of a recently proposed anti-piracy
law in Ukraine.

We think, as do all of the participants of the press conference, that
the proposed bill, if passed, will constitute a serious threat to
freedom of expression and privacy in the Ukrainian segment of the
Internet, inevitably impacting Wikipedia as well (at least, but not
limited to, by endangering the Internet sources that Wikipedia relies

The bill is essentially a poorly designed attempt to implement a
"notice-and-take-down" system in Ukraine. Another unfortunate
characteristic of it is that, as noted on the press conference, it was
developed behind closed doors without any open consultations, and
appears to be a result of some one-sided shadow lobbying.

The key dangers of the bill that have been noted on the press conference:

1. By the proposed system it essentially allows anyone to force a
   hosting provider or a website owner to take down any web page by only
   claiming that such web page constitutes a violation of his/her
   copyright. The bill, in the same time, doesn't establish any
   liability for making false copyright claims.

2. The bill goes further and grants the person/party that submits the
   copyright claim to request and receive from a hosting provider or
   website owner personal information about the alleged "infringer",
   including his/her real name, physical address etc.

3. In addition to that, the bill forces any website owner to publish
   his/her private information publicly on their website, including the
   aforementioned types of information (e.g. home address).

4. For not complying with a take down request, or for not providing to
   the party making the request the private information of the alleged
   "infringer" the bill establishes financial liability for the
   hosting provider / website owner, that constitutes 8500 to
   17000 UAH. For such repeated behavior the hosting provider or website
   owner are liable twice as much.

5. For not complying with the requirement described under point 3 the
   website owner or hosting provider is liable 3400 to 8500 UAH, and for
   repeated such behavior twice as much.

6. If the person who published the alleged infringement disagrees with
   the copyright claim, they can file a counter-request to restore that
   information; however, filing such a counter-request requires it to be
   digitally signed, and an average Internet user doesn't have a
   state-recognized cryptographic key pair. The same requirement applies
   to the take down notice, but it's reasonable to suspect that for a large
   organization filing such take down notices in bulk, is not a big
   overhead to receive such a key. This contributes to the imbalance
   created by the bill.

7. Additionally, the request to restore deleted content, unlike the
   take down notice, is required to provide "legal justification" that
   the content is not infringing (in the take down notice a term
   "claim/declaration" is used instead, and no "legal justifications"
   are required for the take down notices.)

A general consensus of the participants of the press conference was
that such a bill will only benefit large players in the field of
"multimedia content industry" and will pose a threat to everyone else,
first of all free press and general public.

As we know from the DMCA notice-and-take-down system, it is sometimes
used to attack competitors or to exploit fair use as a field for
copyright infringement claims.

In an informal discussion after the press conference, some participants
hypothesized that the law was drafted in hurry to create an impression
of reforms, without paying enough attention to the consequences of such

Currently, the bill is registered in the Parliamentary database as
submitted by the Cabinet [2].

Sincerely yours,
Yuriy Bulka, antanana
Wikimedia Ukraine board members.

[2]: http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=56869
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listy.wikimedia.pl/pipermail/wmcee-l/attachments/20151112/fcdb29da/attachment.html>

More information about the WMCEE-l mailing list