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February 1, 2011

Illegal Russian movies on iTunes

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by Darren Allan

It seems that there are some films up for download on iTunes which don’t have the copyright holders permission for distribution.

The BBC reports that a number of old Russian films are on iTunes, including Gentlemen of Fortune, The Diamond Arm, Cheburashka and Kin-dza-dza. The latter is a cult sci-fi movie from 1986 set on the planet Pluke, with spaceships that look like giant dustbins.

Apparently the owners of the copyright on these productions, studio Mosfilm and the Joint State Film Collection, haven’t given consent for them to be flogged via Apple’s online store.

BBCRussian.com contacted Mosfilm’s Deputy Director General, Svetlana Pyleva, who told them: “The only official internet site where you can watch legal Mosfilm content is the Mosfilm site. There are no third parties which we have permitted to use our content.”

Having been informed of all this by the Beeb, Apple has said it is investigating the issue, and that the company takes copyright complaints very seriously.

However, it doesn’t put Apple’s famously stringent approval policy in the best of lights.

Story link: Illegal Russian movies on iTunes

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