Russian officials have called for the mass distribution of pirated content to “inflict maximum damage” on Western companies like Netflix.
Russians were deprived of Western content after streaming giants, including Netflix, Disney, and HBO, suspended their services in Russia following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
As a result, Russia’s deputy head of its Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, recently called for a distribution of pirated Western intellectual property, from Hollywood movies to software that is no longer available in Russia.
“If they’ve left us, Netflix and others, it means we will be downloading and using this [their content] for free,” Medvedev told Russian media outlets.
He added: “I would scatter this content all over the internet to inflict maximum damage on them. Maximum so they would go bankrupt.”
Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, supported Medvedev’s proposal to distribute pirated Western content at scale.
“I agree with Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev]. We are dealing with pirates – those who robbed us, who seized our assets, stole our assets… The phrase ‘pirated content’ should be now perceived in a different light,” he told journalists.
Peskov admitted he didn’t know how to download pirated content himself but added that someone else was doing that for him, leaving no room for interpretation that he was stealing Western copyrighted property.
In January, Russian lawmakers started drafting a bill that would legalize pirated content in the country.
“No need to be shy, just add the skull and bones to the tricolor,” the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reacted following the announcements on Russian media.
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