Russia is considering legalizing certain forms of piracy in a desperate attempt to fight off sanctions placed on it. Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, many countries have placed sanctions on Russia. Due to this, many major tech companies have stopped their operations within the country.
The plan is to remove legal punishments for people in Russia for certain types of piracy. In the case of software, piracy of specific applications will become non-punishable. The software will include those sanctioned in Russia, with no alternative software available.
They are also looking at importing products from other countries without the intellectual property owner’s permission. The Russian government is also looking to remove legal liabilities in this case too.
Will Russia legalize piracy?
Big tech companies such as Apple, Adobe, Samsung, Microsoft, and others have already stopped doing business in Russia. Due to this, Russia’s economy is sure to suffer. Putin has characterized these sanctions as an “act of war.”
To stave off such an economic collapse, the Russian government considers legalizing piracy. It seems this will affect copyright, patent, and trademark owners residing in countries that act against Russia’s interests. Unlicensed software piracy will still be illegal, but it will become non-punishable in many cases.
Russia’s move against the sanctions is quite a turn from the strict anti-piracy measures the country has taken before. According to Torrentfreak, there have also been calls to unblock the country’s largest torrent site. Russian citizens are already flooding towards VPN services.
“Cancellation of liability for the use of software (SW) unlicensed in the Russian Federation, owned by a copyright holder from countries that have supported the sanctions”Ministry of Economic Development of Russia
This move by the Russian government might become the spark that will make piracy the norm within the country. You can take a look at the planning document from here.