The previous year the MPAA, RIAA and other groups asked the U.S. Government to impose sanctions on Ukraine accusing them of failing to fight against online piracy. The European Commission also warned Ukraine of damaging its relations with the EU. However, Ukraine’s head of cyber-police unit said complaints received by him are few in number and are actually going down.
Ukraine over the past decade has played host to some of the world’s largest pirate sites.
The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, ExtraTorrent, Demonoid and many other streaming portals have taken advantage of laws more favorable than those in the US and EU.
For this reason, Ukraine has been heavily criticized for not doing enough to combat piracy, but when placed under pressure, it does take action.
Over the years Ukraine has launched irregular actions against pirate sites and has taken steps to tighten up copyright law.
The Law on State Support of Cinematography came into effect April 2017 which gave copyright owners new tools to combat infringement.
The IIPA asked the U.S. government to suspend or withdraw Ukraine’s trade benefits until the online piracy situation improves.
But despite the criticism, Sergey Demedyuk, Ukraine cyber police chief says that while his department is committed to tackling piracy, it can only do so when complaints are filed with him.
“Yes, we are engaged in piracy very closely. The problem is that piracy is a crime of private accusation. So here we deal with them only in cases where we are contacted,” Demedyuk said in an Interfax interview.
Demedyuk does not know why complaints are going down but has claimed his unit takes action when asked to do so.
In the meantime, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has maintained Ukraine’s position on the Priority Watchlist.