AI Legislation in Russia – Current Status

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to advance and integrate into various sectors, countries worldwide are grappling with the need to establish robust legal frameworks to govern its use. Russia is no exception, with recent legislation reflecting an effort to balance innovation with ethical and legal considerations.

Key Legislative Frameworks

Federal Law No. 258-FZ: Digital Sandboxes

Enacted in January 2021, Federal Law No. 258-FZ establishes “digital sandboxes” in Russia. These sandboxes are designated areas where AI technologies can be developed and tested under relaxed regulatory conditions. This experimental regime is designed to monitor and address the legal and ethical issues that arise from real-life applications of AI. Key concerns include liability for AI malfunctions and the protection of personal data privacy​ (Gowling WLG)​.

Federal Law No. 123-FZ: Initial Steps Towards AI Regulation

Effective since July 2020, Federal Law No. 123-FZ marked one of the first significant legislative steps towards AI regulation in Russia. This law provides a framework for digital innovation within Moscow, setting the stage for broader regulatory efforts. Crucially, it introduces key definitions for artificial intelligence and related technologies, laying the groundwork for future regulations​ (Gowling WLG)​.

AI Training Data and Copyright Concerns

The use of copyrighted works for training AI models has sparked significant debate globally, and Russia is no exception. The main concern revolves around balancing the need for innovation with the protection of intellectual property rights.

Global Perspectives and Comparisons

In the European Union, the AI Act mandates transparency regarding the use of training data. This regulation requires AI developers to disclose the content used for training their models, giving copyright holders the opportunity to opt out and demand authorization for the use of their works. This approach aims to protect the rights of content creators while fostering technological innovation​ (Mintz)​.

The United States has seen numerous legal challenges highlighting the tension between fair use and copyright infringement. High-profile cases, such as the New York Times’ lawsuit against AI companies, underscore the complexities involved. These cases argue that using copyrighted content without permission to train AI models constitutes copyright infringement, reflecting a broader concern about how AI technologies utilize existing creative works​ (Ropes & Gray LLP)​​ (JD Supra)​.

Russia’s Broader Strategy and Future Directions

Russia is actively addressing these issues as part of its broader strategy to integrate AI into its economy. The country’s legislative efforts aim to ensure that technological advancements do not outpace the necessary legal and ethical frameworks. By creating experimental regimes and establishing clear definitions and guidelines, Russia seeks to foster innovation while safeguarding the rights and privacy of its citizens​ (Gowling WLG)​​ (Mintz)​.

As AI continues to evolve, the legal landscape will undoubtedly need to adapt. Russia’s proactive approach, mirrored by similar efforts globally, highlights the importance of a balanced and forward-thinking regulatory framework. This balance is essential to support technological progress while ensuring that ethical considerations and intellectual property rights are adequately protected.

There haven’t been any widely publicized legal complaints specifically against Yandex regarding the use of AI and copyright. However, the issue of AI and copyright infringement is a significant and evolving area of law globally, including in Russia.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of