Russia looking to make software piracy legal in response to tech bans

This follows software bans implemented by tech companies after the country's invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s government is reportedly looking into making software piracy legal in response to the worldwide technology bans.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, many tech companies including Microsoft, Sony, and Apple have pulled their products from Russia in solidarity with Ukraine. However the Russian government is apparently working on a law to legalise software piracy in order to circumvent the bans.

As reported by Torrent Freak (spotted by PC Gamer), a document titled Priority Action Plan for Ensuring the Development of the Russian Economy in the Conditions of External Sanctions Pressure” from the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia reportedly outlines the new law and contains measures that will affect copyright, patent and trademark owners that act against Russia’s interests.

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Project xCloud
Project xCloud. Credit: Microsoft

An item listed as point 6.7.3 will attempt to deal with the recent tech company bans, as it says that it will aim for the “cancellation of liability for the use of software (SW) unlicensed in the Russian Federation, owned by a copyright holder from countries that have supported the sanctions.”

This basically means that although sanctions are in place against Russia, piracy of software for which there are no Russian alternatives would be permissible in both criminal and civil cases in the country.

It’s unclear how the Russian government intends on bypassing bans on subscription and cloud services at this time.

Tech companies aren’t alone in placing software bans on Russia. The games industry, specifically game publishers and development studios, have also responded to the ongoing invasion by halting game and product sales in the territories of Russia and Belarus. CD Projekt Red, Ubisoft, EA Sports, and Bloober Team have all stopped selling their games while also making donations in the efforts to aid Ukraine.

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In other news, PlayStation pulled Gran Turismo 7 from sale in Russia.

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