Russian Gov't Forced To Pay Newspaper Editor It Falsely Accused Of Piracy

from the government-sometimes-loses dept

We’ve noted in the past how the Russian government (as many others do) abuse copyright laws as a means of suppressing dissent among the media and activist groups. While this tactic got some additional attention last fall when it was discovered that Microsoft often played along, the Russian government still has been known to accuse anyone it dislikes of piracy, often creating charges based on the fact that someone couldn’t find a receipt for a software package or couldn’t prove they had legally bought that software package. This is copyright as pure censorship.

Thankfully, the Russian government isn’t always succeeding with this strategy. Danny O’Brien was kind enough to send over the news that Sergei Kurt-Adzhiev, a local news editor in Samara, has finally been declared not guilty in his years-long fight against the Russian government in one of these trumped-up piracy lawsuits. Not only that, but in this case, the Russian Finance Ministry was ordered to pay him 450,000 rubles, or about $15,200 for the false charges that he’d used pirated software.

In response to the win, Sergei apparently said:

“I am pleased with the court’s decision, though I believe it would have been fairer to collect my compensation from those law enforcement agents who illegally persecuted me. I am ready to identify those persons by name and to determine the monetary responsibility of each.”

Should be interesting to see if he follows through on that threat…

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