Kremlin: Nginx Copyright Dispute Already Affecting Russian IT market

An ongoing corporate dispute surrounding U.S.-based webserver Nginx has already affected the IT market and damaged the government’s development goals, the Kremlin’s special representative on digital and technological development Dmitry Peskov said on Friday, according to RBC.

“Here’s my personal stance regarding Nginx. Those developments have already dealt a major blow to the market and development targets. Direct harm can and must be minimized, but the damage done was significant from all points of view. For me personally, [Nginx founder] Igor [Sysoev] – is among the heroes of development, who created the most basic infrastructure for the modern Internet,” Peskov wrote on his Facebook page.

Peskov added that the infringement on the right to create open-source products while being a corporate employee was even more dangerous.

“Nothing can be more harmful to the task of creating the country’s digital infrastructure, resistant to external risks. This kills motivation,” he said.

Police raided the Moscow office of Nginx on Friday, and sources from the investigation told local media the move was related to a “criminal case on copyright violation.” The company’s co-founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov were detained in the raid but released after a few hours.

Sysoev was an employee of internet company Rambler in the 2000s and at the time of writing the code for what would become the open-source Nginx web server and proxy platform. He claims he wrote the software in his spare time, and thus it belongs to him, though Rambler appears to disagree and has claimed ownership of the blueprints.

Meanwhile, Natalya Kasper sky, the president of the InfoWatch group of companies and the head of the Information Security working group of the Digital Economy ANGO, said the Nginx issue may increase the brain drain among IT specialists.

“The precedent is extremely unpleasant, extremely dangerous. In our opinion, it may have a negative impact on the labor market. We are already facing a shortage of workforce, we don’t have a sufficient number, good developers. Worse, they leave for Silicon Valley too often,” she said.