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vKontakte ordered to pay damages in two more infringement cases

By | Published on Monday 9 November 2015


While the major record companies failed to win any damages in their legal battle with often controversial Russian social network vKontakte, the digital firm has been ordered to pay monies to two local independent labels as a result of copyright litigation.

According to Billboard, vKontakte has been ordered to pay $11,600 to a label called Nikitn, after users of the social network illegally distributed tracks by Russian singer Grigory Leps via the firm’s servers. Meanwhile another label called Soyuz has won $9280 relating to the illegal distribution of various tracks from its catalogue on the vKontakte platform.

While those may not seem like large sums compared to copyright cases in the US and Europe, the damages are sizeable by Russian standards. Billboard quotes Nikitin’s lawyer Pavel Katkov as saying: “We hope that our client is satisfied with the judgment. The sum of damages may not look significant, but it is important as an instrument for fighting illegal distribution of content”.

As previously reported, legal action taken by Universal Music and Warner Music against vKontakte resulted in the social network being ordered to do more to combat copyright infringement on its networks, though no damages were awarded to the majors. As a result, both the social media firm and the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry claimed victory in the case.

vKontakte also claims that the latest rulings vindicate its position, despite the damages it will have to pay out. It said the courts had again confirmed it was a “good-faith information intermediary”.