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Russia's War on Piracy/Malicious Software 150

Posted by Zonk
from the legitimacy-and-furry-hats dept.
tmk writes "Russian minister Leonid Reiman has announced new legislation to fight software piracy. According to official information the share of pirated software in the Russian Federation decreased in the last years from 90 to 60 percent. Reiman dismissed as a myth the impression that many viruses originate in his country: 'Viruses are written all over the world. Russia is waging a consistent and successful war on malicious software.' Reiman calls for an international organization to fight Internet crime. Last year Russia agreed to take down Allofmp3 after the United States intervened."
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Russia's War on Piracy/Malicious Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are natural partners. Expect the USA, China and Russia to embrace draconian copyright law enforcement as an _excuse_ to monitor and control all transmission of information with their borders. All copyrightists are scum.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, just keep in mind that when that same government is mugging you for crappy things like Socialist Security et al., those thuggings are somehow OK.
      Because CNN said so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by EzInKy (115248)

        Yeah, just keep in mind that when that same government is mugging you for crappy things like Socialist Security et al., those thuggings are somehow OK.

        Because CNN said so.


        Actually Social Security began long before CNN was even a gleam in Ted's eye in an attempt to keep the millions of hopeless people from "thugging" the rich at a time when pure capitalism proved to be a great failure.
    • by teh kurisu (701097) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @02:36PM (#18395777) Homepage

      The US is just defending their interests abroad. They are the largest exporter of copyrighted material in the world, and large-scale copyright infringement abroad can have an effect on American jobs.

      All copyrightists are scum.

      By that logic, people who use the GPL are scum, since it is copyright law that prevents non-GPL derivatives.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        GPL users aren't copyrightists - the FSF line has always been "Without copyright, the GPL would be unenforceable. It would also be unnecessary.". Using copyright doesn't make you a copyrightist - supporting copyright law does.

        As to hurting american jobs? So what - you're making the classic "broken window fallacy" error. Should we all smash windows to keep glaziers employed?

        And do bear in mind that international opinion of the USA is at an all-time low - there are plenty of people who wouldn't normally e
      • The stuff about "all copyrightists(sic!) are scum" is silly, but he may have stumbled across something. How come this "call to law and order" comes just as Putin puts together a national body [kommersant.com] to "oversee" all media, a body which is just ripe for censorship and abuse of human rights? I smell a big two-faced rat here.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @02:47PM (#18395843)
      We already embrace draconian copyright law and we already monitor all transmissions (it's called echelon or whatever they're calling it these days).

      And for people who are going to say "hey, the RIAA/MPAA/BSA/US Government are only protecting our interests abroad!"... um... no. They are only protecting corporate interests abroad and doing so by manipulating and demanding how other nations will behave.

      This is a case of American corporations not liking the laws other nations have within their own borders. The reason we want to change their laws and force them to abide by our broken copyright systems is the same reason we want them to become democracies and the same reason that we allow corporations to do business in countries that are a risk to our nation by threat of military actions, spying and have terribly humanitarian records. That reason being that corporations have saturated existing markets. Everyone who is going to by a Justin Timberlake CD in America, Austrlia and the United Kingdom already has done so. To continue expanding their corporations, they need to expand into new markets.

      Helping bring other countries into competition with us at the expense of our own nation and citizens will eventually level them off to a point where they can all afford to buy our CDs and DVDs and videogames, as long as their legal systems and copyright systems (which we will force them to devise and comply with to our liking). Meanwhile, the average person in America and the UK can have their lifestyles seriously reduced in quality before they will no longer be capable or willing to buy content from these corporations.
    • Is a "copyrightist" someone who believes that some form of copyright should exist? Or is a "copyrightist" someone who thinks copyright laws should be extended in duration and very strong in enforcement? Perhaps a "copyrightist" is someone who uses copyright enforcement as an excuse to implement invasive monitoring of information flow. Or is a "copyrightist" merely someone who disagrees with your views on copyright law?

      I may not know what a "copyrightist" is, but at least thanks to your cogent analysis, at

      • Copyrightists are approximately as scummy as your average politician. Mostly, they don't understand exactly what the economic effects of the policy they are pushing are compared to the alternatives, but they think they'll get big payouts themselves if they get it implemented.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrbluze (1034940)

      What I'd like to know is, why does everything have to be a "War on Something" nowadays?

      The more they advertise something, the more likely that "something" is the opposite of what's stated. For example:

      • Department of Health = Department of The Sick
      • Freedom of Information = Prevention of access to information
      • Working for Government Benefits = Working for Practically Nothing
      • War on Terror = War on Peace

      Let's declare war on war!

      • by smoker2 (750216)

        What I'd like to know is, why does everything have to be a "War on Something" nowadays?

        Haven't you heard ?
        We've always been at war with Eastasia^H^H^H^H^HOceania ...

  • I can't wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @12:44PM (#18395081) Journal
    Russia agreed to shut down Allofmp3
    "The government will be expected to begin complying by June 1, 2007."

    They only agreed to it is so they could get into the WTO.
    We'll see how strong their resolve is & how quickly Allofmp3 returns.
    • Stop the slanting (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Call it what it is, "Data duplication." Or perhaps even "copyright infringement."

      Stop calling it "piracy." This nomenclature implies a very debatable moral judgment. Since it is quite obvious that data duplication does not include rape or murder, it is a very ill-fitting term to begin with.

      Just stop using it.

      • That will probably happen just after the media (and everyone else) stops misconstruing the word "hacker".

        In other words, not soon.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by h2g2bob (948006)
        Keep calling it pirating - pirates are cool!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        OED:

        2. The unauthorized reproduction or use of an invention or work of another, as a book, recording, computer software, intellectual property, etc., esp. as constituting an infringement of patent or copyright; plagiarism; an instance of this.
        [1654 J. MENNES Recreation for Ingenious Head-peeces clxxvi, All the wealth, Of wit and learning, not by stealth, Or Piracy, but purchase got.] 1700 E. WARD Journey to Hell II. vii. 14 Piracy, Piracy, they cry'd aloud, What made you print my Copy, Sir, says one, Yo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by M. Baranczak (726671)
        OK, fine. You're not a "pirate". You're a "data duplicator". And the RIAA still wants to sue your ass.
      • What does "piracy" have to do with rape and murder? Pirates are *really cool* guys like Captain Jack Sparrow who try to look tough but are really good at heart. "Pirate" is also a somewhat amusing term for people who like to share data that other people are trying to sell.

        Trying to fight against the terminology at this point is silly. It's much faster and easier to just accept the term and run with "Pirates are cool" - it's not like the term really has any negative connotation at all among people young en

  • Allofmp3 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Venik (915777)
    Allofmp3 is still alive and well. What happens to it in June, when new legislation is enabled, is not at all clear. I doubt they will just disappear. As to levels of software piracy in Russia, I doubt they are as high as in the US.
    • Re:Allofmp3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by bockelboy (824282) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @12:53PM (#18395147)
      Uh... you've never been to Russia, have you?

      Walk to the subway station, and there are about 5 vendors who will happily sell you pirated version of any music CD, most DVDs, and almost any software for $5.

      While there are plenty of people who download software in the US, you'll have a hard time finding that sort of rampant piracy in the US.

      In fact, in Russia, I only remember one store where I could buy non-pirated CDs. The piracy isn't even the same order of magnitude.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Venik (915777)
        Actually, I am from Russia. Just because they sell pirated software in Moscow subways, does not mean there is more software piracy going on there than in the US. There are many more computer users in the US and in the "West" in general. Many Russians don't even have computers at home, so why would they need to pirate software? Don't confuse Moscow with Russia.
        • Re:Allofmp3 (Score:5, Funny)

          by drix (4602) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @03:10PM (#18396017) Homepage

          Uh... you've never been to Russia, have you?

          Actually, I am from Russia.
          Rarely has the entire essence of what this site stands for been summed up in so few lines.
        • Just because they sell pirated software in Moscow subways, does not mean there is more software piracy going on there than in the US. There are many more computer users in the US and in the "West" in general.

          It all depends on how you calculate it. If it's by absolute number of users pirating software, or "lost" profits, then you are of course right. But the number we see more often is the percentage of all users who use pirated software - and that is certainly much higher in Russia. The 60% figure is a jo

      • Re:Allofmp3 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cyclone96 (129449) * on Sunday March 18, 2007 @01:32PM (#18395369)
        Walk to the subway station, and there are about 5 vendors who will happily sell you pirated version of any music CD, most DVDs, and almost any software for $5.

        I actually put that to the test last time I was in Moscow. Was in one of the high end shopping districts near Red Square and walked up to one of the multitudes of CD street vendors. Asked her if she had Borat (which had been released to theaters only a couple of weeks before, and is actually banned in Russia).

        Yup, had it. Just under the table. Commanded a premium price though, I seem to remember it was around 300 rubles (about $10).
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by cpt kangarooski (3773)
          Meh. Why go all the way to Moscow? It's just as easy to go to Canal Street in New York City for anything from DVDs to designer watches and bags to surprisingly good salsa.
      • Walk to the subway station, and there are about 5 vendors who will happily sell you pirated version of any music CD, most DVDs, and almost any software for $5.

        I think what you really meant to say was "most popular" and "newly released".

        The same in China. They bootleg whatever sells well ... right now.

        But they don't keep massive databanks of every DVD / CD / software ever produced. Ready to be burned, printed and sold to you.

        How could you tell the difference between pirated CD's and non-pirated CD's in a sto

    • by efence (927813)
      Piracy in Russia is still rampant. Most stores are still selling pirate software exclusively. As well as many organizations are running it.
    • Nothing will happen to allofmp3. They will just move to Ukraine. Or even Belarus. Good luck pressing the latter to reform their copyright laws to match the ones of the US...
  • but thy pirates will keep dem treasures buried and safe. To all Prussian pirates, Yarr maties!
  • by rumith (983060) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @01:02PM (#18395193)

    I am system administrator in a large nuclear physics institute in Moscow, which is by no mere coincidence a vital part of the Russian internet backbone. Since my day one I've been advocating Linux and free software, and here's the fruit: already about 10% of the institute's workers, including the director himself, use various distributions of Linux [mostly Ubuntu/Debian, Mandriva and Red Hat]. Besides, I'm currently engaged in talks with Sun regarding our migration to Sun Ray, which will run on a customized Debian system.

    I believe that if the result will look as I expect it to, the university [it's the largest university in Russia and AFAIK Europe] which we are a significant part of might break off Microsoft crap in toto, although this statement can be considered a pure speculation at this moment.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      This is good, I often times wonder how people that buy pirated software know that there isn't spyware embedded in it or a rootkit preinstalled on the disc for reinfection each time the software is reinstalled.

      At least with Linux, it is fairly easy to know where the code is coming from and verify that it is the same as all the other copies.
      • by westlake (615356)
        At least with Linux, it is fairly easy to know where the code is coming from and verify that it is the same as all the other copies.

        Is it still so easy when your only source for Linux is the sidewalk vendor and your only access to the net is the Internet Cafe?

        • by N3Roaster (888781)
          Yes. You hash your copy, go to the Internet cafe and check that your hash matches the hash of what you thought you were getting. It isn't fool proof, but it probably is good enough.
  • Imperialism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamacat (583406) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @01:22PM (#18395309)
    Why else would a country enact laws against the interests of both country's population and its future economic power? I can see limited term copyright laws being beneficial in Russia, but only with exemptions for income levels and educational use. How does anyone benefit from a kid being computer illiterate because his parents one year salary still can not buy Vista, Office and Photoshop? If one day oil cartel countries force US women to wear burkas, you will know how that feels. Stop mucking with democratically chosen laws of sovereign nations.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      Why else would a country enact laws against the interests of both country's population and its future economic power?

      To keep your domestic cultural product -- your cultural heritage -- from being utterly extinquished by cheap foreign imports?

      Copy Wrong: Internet Piracy and Dickens and Melville [americanheritage.com]

      To help build and protect an export market?

      How much do you suppose "James Bond" and "Harry Potter" have returned to the UK? J.K. Rowling went from being on the dole to being richer than the Queen in under ten ye

      • Re:Imperialism (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MadJo (674225) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @04:09PM (#18396413) Homepage Journal
        But do they really need more than 50 years of monopoly on their copyrighted material?
        How long did it take JK Rowling to earn that much money? Certainly not the amount of time that currently is set in the copyright laws. It's just too long. A lot of great content is locked up by this law, no one in this generation will ever learn of them if this law will still stand.

        I'm not against copyright laws, but the ones in place right now are outright ludicrous in regards to amount of time they span.
        • by westlake (615356)
          Certainly not the amount of time that currently is set in the copyright laws. It's just too long. A lot of great content is locked up by this law, no one in this generation will ever learn of them if this law will still stand.

          There are over 1,000 titles in print in the Penguin Classics series alone. 750 pounds of books. 80 linear feet. The Penguin Classics Complete [amazon.com]

          The Movies Unlimited catalog runs to 800 pages.

          Conservation costs money. Restoration costs money. That is why your $2 commercial DVD rip of

          • by MadJo (674225)
            So you are saying that we don't have to be able to preserve content, because Disney's stuff is well preserved? In other words, only Disney makes content that's worthy of preservation.

            Are you serious?

            There are a lot (and I do mean a lot) of content that's missing from public record, and we are denied access to it, by these insane laws.

            The copyright-law's intention is to encourage content creators to make new content, and to have a short period of monopoly on their product, before it went into public domain f
            • I generally agree with you. However, you should know that Steamboat Willie is included on the 'Mickey Mouse in Black and White, vol. 1' DVD. You can get it on Amazon.
      • by iamacat (583406)
        J.K. Rowling went from being on the dole to being richer than the Queen in under ten years.

        In the meantime, if copyright laws were not so strict, other writers would be able to get off welfare to decent living by writing additional stories in Harry Potter universe. In time, some of them would build up their reputation and publish further books unrelated to Harry Potter. UK would have a thousand new good writers, J.K. Rowling would still be doing well and British people would avoid the embarrassment of havin
        • Right. If only these brilliant writers didn't actually have to come up with an idea of their own to be able to sell books, they'd be able to write best-selling novels!
          • by iamacat (583406)
            It's called popular culture. To break in, you need to start with something people are already familiar with. You don't see many vampire novels that do not mention Vlad Dracula, and these days it would be tough to write a really successful magician novel that doesn't mention Harry Potter. Why do you think J.K.Rowling stuck with magic wands, unicorns, giants and house elves? She should have come up with her own ideas to sell books!
            • There's a difference between coming up with original characters and creating a whole new genre, or by your arguments Rowling would have needed to write about Merlin to be at all successful.
    • by cyclop (780354)

      As much as I hate copyright and agree with you, the potential benefit of it all could be a massive switch to free software. Let's wait and see (not that I have many hopes...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454)
      "Stop mucking with democratically chosen laws of sovereign nations."

      Russia is requesting membership into the WTO and part one of the requirements is to respect international copyright law. They are more than welcome to ignore international copyright laws all they want but it will come at the cost of not being allowed membership into the WTO.
      • by iamacat (583406)
        China has censorship, forced abortions and is threatening to invade an independent, peaceful nation. They are in WTO. India has widow burning and widespread starvation right next to prosperous technology parks. They are in WTO. If an organization puts copying mp3s above burning people alive, perhaps it's not in a decent country's interest to seek membership.
        • by stubear (130454)
          I don't think China or India should be members either but they are and there's little that can be done about it now. Russia, however, is not a member and they are violating the laws of the WTO by allowing rampant piracy, therefore they are being denied entrance. Others doing something illegal is no excuse for one's own illegal actions.
          • by iamacat (583406)
            and there's little that can be done about it now

            Why is that, surely they can be expelled from WTO for using increased profits it brings for oppressing their own population and violating international laws?

            Others doing something illegal is no excuse for one's own illegal actions.

            It's a matter of legal debate [oyez.org]
    • Copywrite's got little to do with pricing levels. There's nothing to stop companies like Microsoft releasing their products at lower prices on the streets of Russia and China than they do on the streets of the US. This is the whole "what the market will bear" thing, after all. Capitalism was meant to be about that.

      Given the above, how is copywrite law against the interests of the population and future economic power? Do you fundamentally disagree with the concept of copywrite, or do you disagree with the pr
    • How does anyone benefit from a kid being computer illiterate because his parents one year salary still can not buy Vista, Office and Photoshop?

      There are many alternatives that would make a kid actually computer literate rather than just another powerpoint whiz.
      It is in the best interests of countries to not develop their economic infrastructure based primarily on a foreign product like Windows. Because if they continue allowing copyright violations then the rich countries impose sanctions and stifle invest

    • I suggest telling Adobe and Microsoft to die in a fire and using Free Software that can be fully supported locally instead. These harsh copyright laws are doing you a favor - why let yourself get sucked in to the upgrade treadmill and culture-crushing poor local language support that is proprietary software?

    • I think that kid will be more computer literate if he would stay with Linux, OpenOffice and Magick instead of "Vista, Office and Photoshop".

      There are plenty of benefits using open software. There are fewer games, less distraction to serious work with computers, more transparent access to the internals of the programs.
      • by iamacat (583406)
        1. Will his "working poor" parents be able to setup a Linux disto?
        2. How will this impact his job opportunities vs using the software that most companies use. "A great graphics designer with extensive experience in Magick"
        • by mapkinase (958129)
          You are mixing job experience with literacy. I have never used Photoshop (I think). That does not make me illiterate.

          Literacy = general basics of computer skills
          Education = knowledge in specific areas
  • by melted (227442) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @02:13PM (#18395623) Homepage
    Heard of this from a sysadmin friend who lives in Saratov, Russia. His company got raided and its owner was dragged to court and had to pay fines. Fines were substantial. He was also required to comply with licensing requirements in full, so fines weren't his only expenditure. I tried to "sell" them on Linux at least on the servers, but the boss is afraid of anything "free as in beer" now.
  • Anyone believes Russian piracy rate has dropped from 90% to 60% over the last year(s) should instead believe the Russian government is capable of solving all their poverty and corruption problm by the end of this year.
  • Allofmp3.com is still operating as normal. www.allofmp3.com
    • by fyoder (857358) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @03:50PM (#18396297) Homepage Journal
      It operates within Russian law. There are two ways they can shut it down
      1. Poison everyone involved with radioactive pellets.
      2. Change the law so that allofmp3.com is operating outside it.

      Basically, American perception that the Russian gov't is shutting down allofmp3.com is a misperception, and one which I suspect the Russians are happy not to correct. Perhaps they'll get around to changing the law, but remember that allofmp3.com pays a cut to some Russian licensing agency -- not sure where that money goes, but wouldn't surprise me if money is finding its way into gov't coffers (or politicians' pockets?)

      • by Alsee (515537)
        There are two ways they can shut it down

              1. Poison everyone involved with radioactive pellets.
              2. Change the law so that allofmp3.com is operating outside it.


        An interesting sidenote... the RIAA were narrowly outvoted on that.

        -
  • Yeah right. There are literally 10s of other AllofMyMp3 like sites. They have flourished like mushrooms. And not just in Russia. They seem to run out of every former Soviet republic.

    Not to mention the incredibly effective job that street based anti-piracy enforcement has achieved.Not.

    At best, it provides another opportunity for the cops to shake down stall holders.

    I think you will find anyone selling pirated CDs finds it easier to pay the cops or copyright inspects an "on the spot fine". That way ev
  • Giggleski (Score:3, Funny)

    by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Sunday March 18, 2007 @06:09PM (#18397109) Journal
    > "Russian minister Leonid Reiman has announced new legislation to fight software piracy."

    Oh Mercy Me! It's great to begin my week with a good joke!
  • You'd think that a large and relatively modern country like Russia would be developing all its own software and wouldn't need to pirate software made by American companies.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by muuh-gnu (894733)
      Wouldnt that be a collosal wste of time, money and human ressources better spent at something else?

      And btw, they aren't "pirating" anything, they are sharing stuff that works for them with their fellow men. Why should it be their problem when some greedy-as-fuck overseas copyright fascists want to censor interpersonal communication and information exchage?

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