harry potter
The “Harry Potter” fandom celebrates a huge book milestone. Warner Bros. Pictures


  • Russian streaming services Amediateka and Kinopoisk will remove all "Harry Potter" movies
  • "Harry Potter" universe movies will no longer be available on the platforms starting Feb. 1
  • Amediateka said the removal was caused by the expiration of license rights

All "Harry Potter" movies will soon be removed from Russian streaming platforms.

Amediateka and Kinopoisk, two popular streaming services in the country, will no longer stream the film adaptations of the "Harry Potter" books written by J.K. Rowling starting next month, Russian state-owned news agency Tass reported Thursday.

"The press service of the Amediateka online movie theater confirms that the license rights to this particular content, that is, the 'Harry Potter' universe movies, are scheduled to expire on Jan. 31," a spokesperson for Amediateka, which holds the rights to the related content, told the news agency.

Kinopoisk earlier posted a footnote in the "Harry Potter" and the "Fantastic Beasts" sections of its streaming platform warning subscribers that they have until Jan. 31 to watch the films.

"Just like other online movie theaters working with Amediateka, we offer access to the content that we get from the streaming service," a Kinopoisk spokesperson told Tass.

In April last year, the Russian digital libraries LitRes and MyBook also withdrew electronic versions of the "Harry Potter" books from their platform "at the request of the copyright holder," Russian news outlet Meduza reported.

"Unfortunately, we cannot influence the decision of the copyright holder," a statement on the MyBook website read, adding that the book files of the series that were purchased prior to the removal on April 8, 2022, can still be read on its app or any other reader "forever."

Rowling had not publicly announced restrictions on the sale of her works in Russia at the time.

The publishing group Azbooka-Atticus, one of the longest-running publishers in the country, informed Russian outlet DTF at the time that it will continue to sell "Harry Potter" paper books.

The streaming services and the digital libraries did not provide further information on the removal of the fantasy series.

Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned Rowling while discussing "cancellation culture."

During a March 2022 televised meeting, he claimed that the west was discriminating against Russian culture and compared the treatment of Russian cultural figures who expressed support for the invasion of Ukraine with that of the "canceled" British author, who faced backlash for her comments on transgender people.

"Recently they canceled the children's writer Joanne Rowling because she – the author of books that have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide – fell out of favor with fans of so-called gender freedoms," Putin said, according to The Guardian.

Rowling responded to Putin's comments at the time, writing via Twitter, "Critiques of western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics."

She added the hashtag "#IStandWithUkraine" and attached an article about the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

According to Andrei Kolesnikov, of the Carnegie Moscow Center, the Russian president had a "distorted" view of western culture based on the intel he would receive from advisers.

"He hears about some extreme examples that happen in the west and then convinces himself that this is the trend. He doesn't like the nuance," Kolesnikov said.

"Putin wants to tell Russians that they are under siege, also culturally. In his eyes the west is in a relentless war against traditional Russian values," he added, after explaining that the meeting was meant to show the Russian public that the west was pursuing a parallel cultural war against the country following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

JK Rowling says she has suffered domestic abuse and sexual assault in the past
JK Rowling says she has suffered domestic abuse and sexual assault in the past AFP / Angela Weiss