Russia considers legalizing software piracy to circumvent sanctions

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(Photo: Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Unsplash)
In response to sanctions limiting software such as Microsoft 365 and Oracle business tools, Russia devised a new plan to allow its citizens to function as normally as possible. The plan? To legalize piracy.

A new document from Russia’s Economic Development Ministry details an attempt to circumvent other countries’ sanctions by making the crime of software piracy non-punishable. If the measures described in the document are passed, a new federal law will allow citizens to download and use software published by copyright holders in countries supporting the sanctions. Citizens will be freed from legal liability for such actions, as the government supplements its penal code with “the ability to compulsorily use unlicensed software under penalty restrictions.” [sic].” Only those who pirate software without Russian alternatives will be considered excusable under the new law.

Countless tech companies have announced pendant lights on the sale and distribution of their products in Russia, from Apple, Nvidia and Samsung to EA, Microsoft and Oracle. These private sector-led sanctions aim to pressure the Kremlin to rethink its military takeover (or attempted takeover) of Ukraine. While Vladimir Putin will struggle to force imports into Russia, he and his network have clearly found a potential workaround that will allow individuals, businesses and government agencies to continue to access software they would otherwise be forced to. pass.

(Photo: FLY:D/Unsplash)

The Russian government also appears to be considering denying responsibility for intellectual property infringements. Point 6.7.1 of the document describes a proposed law that would extend “the authorization to use the rights to an invention, a utility model, an industrial design in connection with computer programs, databases, [and] integrated circuit topologies. All in all, Russia’s next federal policy seems to be that if people can’t import it, they’re free to steal it or copy it.

The document’s long title, “Priority Action Plan for Ensuring the Development of the Russian Economy Under the Conditions of External Sanctions Pressure,” is uncomfortably indicative of the long-term mindset of the Russian government. If Putin’s strategy is to hang on and find a way to dodge the world’s attempts to roll him back from Ukraine, it wouldn’t be absurd to guess that he has no intention of leaving. so early.

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