This is the Russian government’s way of trying to counter sanctions and the withdrawal of some technology giants.
The Russian Federation’s war in Ukraine seems far from over, and with it, the sanctions and withdrawals by major Western companies are likely to continue for some time. Perhaps that is why Moscow is exploring ways to minimise the impact of external pressure by putting forward a plan to decriminalise the use of pirated software from countries ‘hostile’ to the Kremlin.
In other words, the public would be protected by law against downloading specific software not officially available in the country.
This would affect software whose owners come from countries “hostile” to the Kremlin.
Through point 6.7.3 of the Priority Action Plan to ensure the development of the Russian economy under the pressure of external sanctions, officials of the Ministry of Economic Development are addressing the inconvenience caused by the departure of major companies in the sector, such as Apple, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, etc., and are proposing a mechanism to remove the responsibility for the use in the Russian Federation of unauthorised software owned by the owner of copyright from countries supporting the sanctions.
As TorrentFreak points out, it is not entirely clear how this measure could be implemented, especially because many of these services require access to the cloud to use. According to PC Gamer, the effort seems to be aimed more at programmes that are necessary for the proper functioning of the country’s economy and management so that the downloading of video games could remain punishable. Further developments remain to be seen.
Unblocking the Torrent Portal
On the other hand, a few days ago, a deputy of the Duma (Moscow’s lower house of parliament) proposed unblocking access to RuTracker, one of the largest torrent portals, so that Russian audiences could watch Hollywood movies.
What is clear is that, for one reason or another, the entertainment software industry has virtually abandoned Russia and, to a lesser extent, Belarus. As a result, sales of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles have stopped, while digital stores such as the Epic Games Store and GOG have also closed there.