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Former president urges Russians to pirate Western content




 Russians should download for free movies, music, and other content from Western entertainment companies that left the country over the conflict in Ukraine, former President Dmitry Medvedev has said. 

Companies that have ceased or paused operations in Russia over the past year include film industry giants Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, and Sony, as well as streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, Megogo, and Amazon Prime Video.  

“You know what? Find proper pirates and download everything from them,” Medvedev told journalists on Saturday, when asked about how foreign-made content currently unavailable in Russia due to sanctions could be accessed.

“If they left us – Netflix and others – then we’ll just download all of this and use it for free. I would also just put it everywhere online to deliver the maximum damage. Maximum damage so that they go broke.” 

Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said that as a legal professional, he has always had a negative attitude toward piracy and preferred to overpay for content, even when people around him pointed out that it can be easily downloaded online.

“But now I’m treating this in accordance with the ‘you got what you were asking for’ principle. Let them lose money,” he explained. 

Medvedev also said that the Russian authorities recently discussed the possibility of depriving foreign content providers of some of their non-property rights in the country.

Netflix, which the ex-president mentioned, lost 700,000 subscribers after pulling out of Russia last April. The first customer decline in more than a decade saw the streaming platform’s shares plummeting by 37%, which led to a massive loss of $40 billion in market capitalization.

Disney estimated in May that it lost $195 million just from shutting down its Disney Channel in Russia.


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