As we covered earlier in the year, VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network, has been in court defending itself against an order to remove its file-sharing functionality from its site. One of the largest record labels, EMI, led the charge and won the case. VKontakte recently appealed, but have lost the appeal again.
The issue of the case is that VKontakte uses peer to peer technology without restrictions, which allows users on their social network easy access to each other’s files. Without any restrictions, users have uploaded loads of pirated music and films to the network, and VKontakte hasn’t done much to curb this.
But now, they’re going to have to. The suit is over, and EMI is demanding the removal of the functionality. Russia has an avid file sharing mentality, and there are lots of other options available, so users may start to move on to other social networks once VKontakte removes the functionality. Surely, VK is looking for some way to skirt around this removal, maybe by introducing some other sort of technology.
They’d better do it quick, because Facebook is on their heels and if Russians get the sense that VKontakte is in trouble, they may jump ship.