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Yandex denies "gay propaganda" allegations

0 24 January 2014

Users of Kinopoisk, an online film and TV database owned by the company Yandex, are not able to download Looking, a recently released American mini-series telling the story of three homosexual friends, reports

The controversy arose when Liberal Democratic Party MP Igor Lebedev sent a request to the attorney general of the Russian Federation Yury Chaika, asking him to verify the law on the distribution of series such as “Looking” over the internet.

According to Lebedev, Kinopoisk invites users to download and watch “Looking”, a mini-series following “the story of three gay friends”. Lebedev is concerned that the free distribution of such content does not comply with the Russia’s controversial Gay Propaganda law (officially known as article 6.21 of the Administrative Code). 

Yandex, Russia's biggest internet company, responded that Lebedev had misunderstood Kinopoisk's service, explaining that “Kinopoisk does not distribute this series, we have not received any instructions from the attorney general we and would like to emphasise once more that all of the services we provide operate strictly within the bounds of Russian federal law.”

Yandex have also stressed that Kinopoisk does not offer users the option of streaming any video content online in its entirety or downloading it onto their computer. The site, like its American counterpart IMDB, only offers information about the series, its rating and the trailer, which is only 1 minute 25 seconds long.

The purchase of Kinopoisk by Yandex was first reported on 15th October of last year. The Russian language information service, on which users can find out about new films and TV series and also voice their opinions on its content, cost Yandex around $80 million.


Top image via: Shutterstock 

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