Report: Russian Authorities Drop Piracy Charges Against Environmental Group

Copyright, Intellectual Property, International December 6th, 2010


Russian authorities have quietly dropped their piracy charges against an environmental group that had been critical of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s environmental record after Microsoft declined to co-operate in the investigation, according to the New York Times.

The Russian police had raided the offices of environmental group Baikal Environmental Wave this January in Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal, and confiscated the group’s computers claiming that it had been using pirated software.

But the Times reported that the group Baikal Environmental Wave had deliberately bought legal software and kept the receipts in anticipation of such an event.The group had been protesting Putin’s decision to re-open a polluting paper factory on Lake Baikal.

The Times reports that Microsoft had asked the police of the Siberian town of Irkutsk to drop the case.

The raid was just one of several others similar in nature that have been taking place elsewhere in Russia, according to the Times.

Since the Times report in September, Microsoft has moved to change its policies to mitigate the phenomenon.

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