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Moscow reportedly to allow illegal use of foreign-made software whose developers have left Russia

Source: Kommersant

The Russian Finance Ministry is working on a bill that would both “decriminalize” the illegal use of foreign software whose developers have left the Russian market and impose compulsory licensing on it, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

In particular, officials are reportedly considering creating a mechanism that would allow Russian companies to transfer payments for their use of foreign software to a special account, where the funds would be held until requested by the software’s copyright holders.

The Russian Finance Ministry has not commented on the reports. In a webinar with IT sector employees on December 28, however, Finance Minister Maxut Shadayev spoke about the importance of making it possible for Russian businesses to use foreign software.

After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a number of major Western software companies ceased operations in the country, including Adobe, SAP, and Microsoft (though the latter recently restored Russians’ ability to download the Windows operating system).

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