Russia Cracking Down On Software Piracy... But Only On Gov't Critics?

from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

It's no secret that the US has been pressuring Russia to crack down on intellectual property abuses which are rampant throughout the country. And, in fact, there's been some evidence that Russia is now trying to crack down on abuses in order to keep the US happy (and aid its own chances in joining the WTO). However, some are suggesting that while things like unauthorized software use is rampant almost everywhere in Russia, the only ones who are being targeted in the "crackdown" happen to be those who are critical of the current Russian government. Perhaps the authorities in Russia saw it as a way of killing two birds with one stone: show a crackdown on companies using unauthorized software to make the US happy... and come up with something to use to silence local government critics. Remember how the Big Copyright players were claiming that file sharing helps support terrorism (without any real evidence to support it)? Does that mean we can now claim that cracking down on software "piracy" helps stifle gov't dissent? Yes, it's ridiculous, but it's no less ridiculous than the terrorism claims.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    lessons from the Feds.

    Selective prosecution is certainly nothing new, and the current oppressive blanket of laws makes it virtually impossible to live a normal life without fracturing one law or another. Ask any social activist who has been targeted by the FBI. Ask the attendants at this legal & permitted dance party in Utah. Or read this incident about a private citizen being arrested for having a protest sign two weeks ago.

     

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    Matt Bennett, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 10:05am

    Re: Lessons from the Feds

    I agree, we have too many laws, and it is all too easy to be in violation of Something, without actually doing anything most of us would consider wrong.

    Your first story is a good example of that. Your second one isn't, really, that's just a case of police brutality, plain and simple, and he should sue for false arrest.

     

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      Multi-Tenticled Creature from Planet X, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 11:26am

      Re: Re: Lessons from the Feds

      Yeah, I actually wanted to list some better examples that I remembered reading a while back, but I ran out of time. For example: the military officer who was prosecuted for having pornographic images on his laptop because none of the other charges would stick. Or the activists who were arrested by a swarm of patrol cars plus a police helicopter for "seatbelt violations" while they just happened to be on their way to a rally. The use of helicopters to arrest activists for seatbelt violations has actually occurred on at least two different occasions that I can remember. I just couldn't find the links that I was looking for.

       

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    Witty Nickname, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 10:29am

    Guy arrested for anti-bush sign

    I loved the comments underneath the article about the guy who was arrested for the Bush sign. I love armchair lawyers, especially when they start making up laws. (Protesting is like littering / Income taxes are illegal / The Supreme Court's ruling are irrelevant...)

    Reminds me of when I was a kid and I would call "TIME OUT" seconds before getting tagged.

     

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Sep 10th, 2007 @ 9:49pm

    Putin is slowly returning Russia back to the good old days where you don't dare criticize the government, for fear of being arrested for breaking some law or tax evasion. One only has to look at Yukos and now Rosneft at what happens when you criticize or challenge Putin.

    So while the US government congratulates Russia on it's crackdown on piracy, they turn a blind eye to the abuse of power against those that dare criticize the government. I guess it fits with the whole 'your either with us or against us' motto.

     

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    identicon
    killer, Oct 14th, 2007 @ 7:08am

    kill

     

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