Russia could choose to legalize software piracy to mitigate sanctions

Russia could choose to legalize software piracy to mitigate sanctions

Showing their rejection of Russia’s military campaign on Ukrainian territory, more and more companies from around the world are joining the restrictions and penalties against the country. So much so, that it seems that the Putin government is weighing the possibility of carrying out a measured and temporary withdrawal of some of its policies. to allow software piracy in order to mitigate their sanctions.

As detailed from torrentfreakthe Russian Ministry of Economic Development would have published a document entitled “Priority action plan to ensure the development of the Russian economy in conditions of pressure from external sanctions”, which sets out some of the measures being considered. Several measures that, if adopted, will affect owners of copyrights, patents and trademarks that act against the interests of Russia.

Thus, in one of the items listed, an attempt is made to address the problem of foreign companies revoking or refusing to issue software licences. Under the law as it stands, unlicensed software is illegal, but if the new measures are passed, in some cases software piracy will no longer be punishable. Specifically, these new measures propose the “cancellation of liability for the use of unlicensed software (SW) in the Russian Federation, owned by a copyright holder from countries that have supported sanctions”.

The proposal covers both civil and criminal liability, and indicates that while sanctions exist, piracy of software for which there are no Russian alternatives would be permissible.

It’s not clear how this could deal with services accessed through the cloud, but the overall goal is to smooth Russia’s transition from dependence on the products of foreign companies towards the use of solutions developed at the national level. However, given the current scale of the restrictions, unless the end of the conflict leads to new deals, software piracy will most likely become the norm for Russia for years to come.


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