Russia may consider legalizing piracy to sidestep sanctions

Daniel Sims

Posts: 508   +20
Staff
Why it matters: In the days since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, a growing list of tech and media companies have suspended business in the country. Recent reports indicate that the Russian government is considering decriminalizing piracy to some degree in order to maintain access to products from those companies.

Russian publication Kommersant gained access to a document laying out plans for Russia to defend its economy against the wave of sanctions levied against it since its invasion of Ukraine took place.

The document (translated in English here) covers multiple subjects, including possible changes to technology regulation. Sections 6.7.2 and 6.7.3 mention canceling punishments for using unlicensed software from companies based in countries levying sanctions on Russia. This could be directly aimed at companies that stopped selling their products in Russia like Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, EA and many others.

Section 6.8.3 says Russia might import foreign goods without consent from copyright holders among those companies.

According to a since-deleted tweet from Gazeta.ru, Russian politician Dmitry Ionin suggested unblocking popular BitTorrent tracker RuTracker. Russians would likely use it (regardless of the ban) to download movies from companies like Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. that have paused new releases in Russia.

However, pirating software might have limited effectiveness in today’s world of software-as-a-service. Even if Russians can download programs, they can no longer register or pay for subscriptions, especially since Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal suspended operations in Russia as well. And a growing number of software and services these days run on the cloud, so they can’t be downloaded in the first place.

Permalink to story.

 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,261   +1,148
Sorry what do you mean they might legalise piracy. Is that an attempt at humour? Piracy has long had the blessing of the Kremlin. They employ huge numbers of them. Why actually fund R&D or actually let your country do anything worthwhile when you can sow chaos and steal all secrets you need. Yes, sulk about the glory days of the Soviet Union, wage war, sell gas and pirate. Great economy.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 634   +518
Sorry what do you mean they might legalise piracy. Is that an attempt at humour? Piracy has long had the blessing of the Kremlin. They employ huge numbers of them. Why actually fund R&D or actually let your country do anything worthwhile when you can sow chaos and steal all secrets you need. Yes, sulk about the glory days of the Soviet Union, wage war, sell gas and pirate. Great economy.
This is just a way to say that, “you can choose not to provide, but will not cause much of an issue for us.” No Master Card/ Visa, no problem, we go to our friend,China, or use cryptocurrencies.
 

ypsylon

Posts: 519   +541
Both Russia and China are built on piracy and stealing. It's not news.

Software in Russia that's at least 90% pirated stuff, for movies 99+%. Outside big corporations which must deal with licensing ordinary people - without companies or trade - don't know the meaning of word: license.

It's not like state-sponsored piracy and stealing is new in Russia. It's part of the genome over there. They bloody stole Concorde plans and built 'Concordski' Tu-144 which ended very badly, just like murderer Putler will.
 

Tantor

Posts: 337   +600
It's funny how Russia always says that western world is evil and Russia is superior compared to it. But at the end of the day, Russia just can't live without it.

Not quite - It's the West, especially the Woke Left that claims it's better. Russia simply wants to be left alone .
 

Just Some Dude

Posts: 9   +1
Companies like Microsoft know about the Piracy, they see all the registrations/attempts/stay alive signals/crash reports/etc.- Piracy is actually a good thing for them. By allowing pirated software in countries where it would be almost impossible to control or litigate, it allows those countries to rely on Microsoft software, people grow up with it, industries rely on it; Microsoft's influence and dominance in those spaces is preserved and they still make money from services.

I should note that if Microsoft wanted to, they could pull the plug on every copy of Windows/Office/etc in Russia/Belarus, as could Apple, Google, etc. They just won't - it's bad business.
 

CowsGotMilk

Posts: 77   +186
Not quite - It's the West, especially the Woke Left that claims it's better. Russia simply wants to be left alone .

How so? Using all the western technology like software (and now telling that piracy will be legal) just shows, that Russia can't live without western world products.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 902   +770
TechSpot Elite
Pirating movies, TV shows, music, games etc. isn't a major issue because while Russian civilians can get these for free, there's no VAT to stimulate the economy or generate income. The only thing that'll do is satiate civilian discourse slightly (those that are blaming the government for the sanctions/ war and not blaming the West)
Pirating software is more of an issue here as can be used to generate content and/ or productivity internally, but SaaS usually require subscriptions etc. to function, so the only available versions will be offline/ cracked versions, of which there are still plenty but fewer and fewer as more services become online/ subscriptions.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,140   +1,770
Both Russia and China are built on piracy and stealing. It's not news.

Software in Russia that's at least 90% pirated stuff, for movies 99+%. Outside big corporations which must deal with licensing ordinary people - without companies or trade - don't know the meaning of word: license.

It's not like state-sponsored piracy and stealing is new in Russia. It's part of the genome over there. They bloody stole Concorde plans and built 'Concordski' Tu-144 which ended very badly, just like murderer Putler will.
All my software is legal here. I even pay an expensive subscription to Adobe for all of their programs.
 

Tantor

Posts: 337   +600
How so? Using all the western technology like software (and now telling that piracy will be legal) just shows, that Russia can't live without western world products.

It may be other way around.

"“According to research from market research firm Techcet, Russia and Ukraine are each pivotal in the high-tech trade,” Curran said. “Per their reporting, more than 90% of semiconductor-grade neon used in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing is supplied from Ukraine, while 35% of palladium necessary for the chips comes from Russia.”"

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest...conductor-industry-globally-323760-2022-02-24
 

PanfiloTexas

Posts: 11   +12
Many comments are saying that Putin=Russian people. How many of us said we were equal with Obama/Trump/Biden. I don't understand how punishing the people will fix Putin. Taking away Joe Blows ability to watch something online has zero impact on Russian leaders...just like you and I paying $5 for a gallon of gas has zero impact on our government. We provide our government with an endless source of revenue from our labor and when that is not enough they just print more.
 

CowsGotMilk

Posts: 77   +186
It may be other way around.

"“According to research from market research firm Techcet, Russia and Ukraine are each pivotal in the high-tech trade,” Curran said. “Per their reporting, more than 90% of semiconductor-grade neon used in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing is supplied from Ukraine, while 35% of palladium necessary for the chips comes from Russia.”"

https://www.businesstoday.in/latest...conductor-industry-globally-323760-2022-02-24


Whataboutism
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,140   +1,770
Many comments are saying that Putin=Russian people. How many of us said we were equal with Obama/Trump/Biden. I don't understand how punishing the people will fix Putin. Taking away Joe Blows ability to watch something online has zero impact on Russian leaders...just like you and I paying $5 for a gallon of gas has zero impact on our government. We provide our government with an endless source of revenue from our labor and when that is not enough they just print more.
Yes, it is a total nonsense. Kind of protest maybe.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,411   +2,936
TechSpot Elite
This makes me laugh because it makes me think of when we legalised cannabis in Canada. Sure, we all partied and whatever but nothing really changed. The police in Canada hadn't enforced the illegality of cannabis for several years prior to its legalisation.

The same is true with legalising piracy in Russia. It's already so ingrained that nothing would change if it was made officially legal.
 

HotToz

Posts: 47   +77
Most of the services use gift cards, there other options as prepaid card that can be topped via bitcoin or cryptocoins. So I don't see an issue there. Other options rather than piracy is VPN. So this is big lose for those sactions, we have to pay more expensive gas, gasoline, urea and all gonna be up. Thanks your politics for those brainless santions when you get you utility bills with 60% increase, when you fill your car and pay 100% more, remember this war is not our war, it is someone else war
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 770   +1,053
In other news, bears have legalized the eating of honey. A spokesperson for the Beehive Workers union stated "THIS CHANGES NOTHING!" but reports remain unclear on the actual impact on bee society as many people believe the bears are just "sampling" the honey and will buy it at a later time at their local supermarket.