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Pornhub is Back in Russia Despite Court Ruling

By Prei Dy, | April 17, 2017

Russia has lifted its ban on Pornhub. (YouTube)

Russia has lifted its ban on Pornhub. (YouTube)

Pornhub, the biggest porn-hosting website, is now available in Russia after being blocked for more than half a year. Although the site's international version is available, the .ru site domain is still blocked.

According to Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor spokesperson Vadum Ampelonskt, the decision to lift the block was made on April 7, Runet's birthday.

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But before users could gain access from the website, they are obliged to state their birthday and agree to take "responsibility for his actions" on the site and "complying with social norms."

Pornhub was blocked last September after a court in the provincial Russian city of Voronezh ruled that it "illegally distributes pornographic material." After the move, the Russian online community reacted by launching a satirical video campaign and different humorous memes that mocked social network regulators. Sputnik News noted that the most prominent protest was a Facebook campaign using the hashtag #rospornobzor ("Russian porn review").

Without any formal announcement, Internet users across the country said on Thursday that they could once again access Pornhub, despite a court ruling that banned the site, the Moscow Times reported. Other pornographic sites like Brazzers and YouPorn remained blocked in Russia.

Meanwhile, the xxx-rated website Pornhub has become an unlikely direct competitor of pirating websites like The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, and ExtraTorrents. Criminals are reportedly using the pornographic website to host illegal content, and some copyright-protected films including Star Wars Rogue One, Moana, Bad Santa 2, Dr. Strange, and Avengers Age of Ultron.

One user on Reddit said that Pornhub is not equipped with the same strict Content ID copyright protection system like YouTube. YouTube has been aggressively cracking down illegal contents, and its partnership with Hollywood studios make it difficult for many users to upload high-profile release.

However, Pornhub VP Corey Price said the site "strong condemns" the uploading of illegal contents. He further asked users to help flag such videos. Price stressed that under Pornhub's Terms of Services, users are required to upload original content. It will also follow the DMCA law when dealing with takedown requests.

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