Situation with EX.UA: three conclusions

As of today the progress of situation with EX.UA is very important and exemplary from several points of view. This is the topic of exclusive comment for UBR.UA provided by a lawyer of law firm “Pravova Dopomoga” Igor Samokhodskyi.

First of all, according to the expert this story shows that criminal liability may threaten the administration of practically any Ukrainian website on which users can post contents without prior filtration. “A user can upload audio, text or video that infringe copyrights and if such actions caused damages in the significant amount to the copyright holder this may become a ground for initiation of a criminal proceedings under Article 176 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and seize of servers. Any Ukrainian internet resource must realize this threat”- explained the author.

“Secondly the situation around EX.UA shows whether law enforcement agencies are ready to initiate criminal proceedings not only against administration of a resource but also against users eho directly infringed copyrights by uploading objects protected by copyrights (most likely this crime will be qualified under Section 1of Article 176 rather than Section 2 of Article 176 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine – maximum penalty is 2-year imprisonment). If everything happens this way Ukrainian people will change their behavior on the Internet immediately”- said the lawyer.

And thirdly, according to his words, if owner or administration of EX.UA website face criminal liability this will motivate owners of other Internet resources to relocate their companies to countries which are “more loyal” to protection of copyrights (Ecuador for example). “Additionally suspension of EX.UA domain provision will become a warning sign to leave “.UA” domain zone which is administered by Ukrainian organization in accordance with Article 56 of the Law of Ukraine “On telecommunications”” – he summarized.

Generally, according to the lawyer, EX.UA was not a resource which uploaded the files. “EX.UA was a file sharing service which allowed users to save their data (a wide range starting from text files and software to video materials) and share it with other users. Terms of web portal use stated that “All materials (files) uploaded onto EX.UA are considered to be owned by users that uploaded them until there are grounds to consider otherwise”. Moreover EX.UA asked copyrights holder to inform about rights violations and would cease such violations. Thus, we think that it will be very hard to prove the guilt of resource owner or its managers” – he explained.

Original version of the article is available under the link -

Publication date: 06/02/2012

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