Intellectual Property as a tool for political repression
A Russian correspondent sent me a translation of a Russian blog entry by Marina Litvinovich, an opposition politican and journalist in Russia:
2007-10-06 21:13:00 News At this moment there's a search going on in the appartment of the leader of Rostov-on-Don branch of OGF (United Citizen Front[*]) Boris Batyi. Boris is also a parlamentary candidate from "The Other Russia". A few months ago his office was searched and he was charged with possession of unlicensed software. His telephone: 8-903-402-0059 Upd. on 23:12: The search is over. They have taken the computer's system block, the documents of OGF, and a newspaper "The March of Disagreeing". They promised to search the office of Batyi's wife. -------------- [*] OGF - is an opposition political party supporting presidential candidacy of Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion.
As my correspondent notes, "I'm wondering if Microsoft is aware of the fact that their intellectual property claims are being used by the Russian police (or, more likely, by FSB) as means of political suppression."