Russia's largest publisher has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Telegram for allowing pirated copies of Stephen King and Dmitry Glukhovsky books to be distributed via the platform. The cited aim is to have Telegram blocked in Russia but according to the anti-piracy group involved in the action, the introduction of fingerprinting technology is preferred.
With in excess of 500 million monthly active users, messenging platform Telegram is a true internet giant. According to co-founder Pavel Durov, it was the world’s most downloaded app in January 2021 and is supported by a userbase that’s grown by 40% every year since its launch in 2013.
Alongside millions of regular users, Telegram is also utilized by some as a way to access pirated content. As a result, the company has been criticized by the RIAA and MPAA, made an appearance on the EU’s ‘piracy watch list‘, and been told to block pirated content or even face blocking itself.
As Russia’s largest publisher, Eksmo-AST is well-known for its anti-piracy work, including its part in the permanent ISP block placed on giant torrent site RuTracker. The company has also targeted YouTube and Google, the latter for allegedly hosting piracy apps. It now has Telegram in its crosshairs.