by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 10th 2007 8:44am
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.
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