“Witch Hunt” - an unpopular view of copyright, licensed products and copyright issues in Russia

    Studying the press, you can see that most reports of copyright infringement concern either ordinary citizens or groups of citizens united by some idea . I do not recall press reports that politicians, government officials, deputies, employees of various bodies or large commercial units (firms, offices) were involved in using non-licensed software. I would venture to suggest that not because all of the above are more honest and cleaner than any of the citizens, but because the copyright law does not exist for everyone. There is always the opportunity to pay off, negotiate, "lower the brakes." In general, the law as such for each, depending on the "class" is different.

    Moreover, if you slip into history deeper than ten years, the situation with the laws and their enforcement was even worse. Double standards, as it was not now. There were people above and people below. Now those who stand higher in the event of fatal mistakes (they stole too much, either did it frankly insolently, or they violated the law too visibly) are given “to the mercy of the people”, or to the press, as part of the anti-corruption program. The court in most cases deprives them of their regalia, but leaves them free. At the same time, as ordinary citizens, for crimes much smaller - they “wind up their sentences in full” and in any case turn into public cases of copyright infringement. No wonder there is a saying "Do not renounce a prison and from a bag."

    It seems to me that the main contradiction lies here. It would not be if the law were the same for everyone. When I hear indignation among adepts of copyright and copyright, I feel strange bewilderment. Why?

    Because it’s said that everything is true. You kind of fashioned a pot, burned it and put it up for sale. And someone came to you and stole your pots. In front of your eyes. Pots just yesterday you burned and painted. Two thieves. One is the one to whom there will be nothing for it. The other is the one that sits. In general, they don’t like both. And not because half of the pots will be returned, and half not. And just because stealing is not good. BUT…

    I would like to start my thoughts regarding copyright with the case of a Latvian teacher. As you know, "the laws of flies are caught, and the hornets are released." He who has money is good for him, but it’s easier and more convenient to process an ordinary person. Only here is what interests me. Are different states and power structures supporting them consider their citizens so narrow-minded that they could not trace this strange pattern?

    We live in a world that is constantly changing. Every minute. Right now. In this world, it so happened that information in many ways ceased to be someone’s separate asset. She became common. Until recently, a woman could not know the same as a man knows, her destiny was the kitchen, children and embroidery. Times have changed. Progress has achieved that now everyone has the opportunity to touch almost any information. It would be a desire. Progress did not stop and, moving further, reached the point where you can easily go to prison for knowledge. In this case, it is not about knowing state secrets, but about knowledge in general. Only in my understanding is this not progress, but regression. The degradation and total discrediting of law and power in the eyes of ordinary citizens.

    In my understanding, this matter (the situation with the Latvian teacher) should not have been made public at all. The absence of such cases in relation to apparent offenders will only emphasize and emphasize the savagery of the situation. Her contrivedness and absurdity. On the one hand, protecting copyright, like boys of cows across the field, the relevant organizations drive torrent trackers, on the other hand, in our country there is a social network where you can easily listen to unlicensed audio content and view unlicensed movies. In the recent past, theft of Western games with a change of cover was widespread (logos and other commercial information were removed, their own were applied).
    Statements about if they press that these are users are not good. Because in this case it is the same as the torrent tracker. Only one is beautifully closed, and the other is excellent. What is characteristic is the one where big money is found.

    It is funny that in these cases, some idealists are invited to be civilly conscious and refuse to view or listen to obviously pirated products. But what if any movie you’ve not bought and any song you’ve not bought is obviously pirated? But what if there are no free versions of Madonna’s new album? How are fellow idealists doing this?

    Is it possible to live (and how to do it in general) in harmony with oneself, if on the one hand the state actively pursues offenders, on the other hand it turns a blind eye to offenses of a regional scale? When do these offenses look at us from TV screens? The scope of corruption, bribery, outright hypocrisy and through and through the deceitful, ostentatious “witch hunt” habitually amazes the imagination, but does not solve the dilemma. On the one hand, you always want to be a law-abiding citizen without spots on reputation, with a clear conscience, on the other hand, we are surrounded by thieves' content so much that we can purchase it even in an ordinary store without knowing it.

    Yes, and how to understand this "witch hunt"? Why all of a sudden? If a fair amount of time the country moved along the path of progress through theft and piracy? If every citizen who wanted to have something in this country or to learn something was forced to buy it at the "flea market" (the then name of black markets)? How can a person’s psychology change so dramatically if the floor of his apartment is still tiled with pirate tiles?

    “Perhaps, in rare cases, when the struggle for a just cause makes you become a pirate, piracy can become a just cause.” Governor Swann

    In the distant 90s in our country there was no software market as such. What can I say about software. Even chewing gum was sold from under the floor in the black markets. It was so? It was. We turned out to be hostages of a situation where we were already initially in the status of people who commit an offense if we follow the letter of the law? Is not it so?

    And, in general, there was no choice. Do you want a beautiful thing? Black market. Vidic? Audio and video recordings? All the same. Going there (and almost everyone sinned) committed a crime. Contributed to the spread of not infringing products, bought up smuggled goods. Both actors and musicians still talk about this time with a smile. About how something was mined then.
    And, in fact, nobody thought about the copyright of some Americans who made this or that product. Law enforcement agencies thought about not letting the farmer get rich on the resale of smuggled products. That is, with the shortage (although it is worth mentioning - the complete absence) of a number of domestic goods, there was an opportunity to get it too - but ten times better. At that time, it was generally “fashionable” to get items “by pulling” and incredibly proud of his enterprise. Poor country. Poor people.

    Thanks to the laws of that time, not a single novelty would have passed through the “information curtain” if it weren’t for those pirates. And it’s not even about copyright, we would buy it, I’m sure of it. Then they would have bought. Because they would not be spoiled by what happened after. A culture of product purchase was present. They bought cassettes, and for money in stalls they wrote something on them. Remember how difficult it was to get audio tapes? How good were those Western, and how strikingly different were ours, then still Soviet? JVC, TDK ... these names I remember solely because of these rectangular cassettes. But total theft began later.

    Products from abroad were presented as “evil from there” for which it was necessary to plant. Some forbidden fruit. Those who listened to The Beatles or read books from there felt like some revolutionaries, rebels from the world of culture. From the world of rebellious youth. People doing something forbidden. What kind of purchase from the authors, officially, could be discussed, if all this was one hundred percent smuggling?

    The period has come when information technology swallows began to appear on the markets. PC. Software. Games. From there began to arrive not only household items, cigarettes and chewing gum, but also knowledge. The all-consuming passion to consume more and more new information over and over again drove us to these markets in search of something interesting. Dozens and hundreds of games and software products were bought up. And who was thinking about copyright? God be with you. This is the same thing from there. You can’t buy it for normal money in the store, just with it. But what if by law?

    Some people say that all that we have now is a consequence of the global and hopeless “theft” then. And they are right. We all know this, but prefer to participate in the “witch hunt”. Now. Now, talking about copyright, a civilized approach, private property, forgetting about the “then”, that “then” which has not yet managed to go out the door of modern history. Is it too fast that we have become a civilized country that respects copyright? Is this with a certain amount of unpaid debts?

    We, with all our wishes, are not able to pay for all those software applications that we used. Books that have been read. Movies that watched. The music you have listened to. It's impossible. All we can now is to repay these debts. Those who helped us then. But this is not a question of the letter of the law. You can’t put the whole country for it. It is not the country that is responsible for the created information climate (or rather, its absence). This is a matter of decency. Honesty. Responsibility. Everyone. And everyone will answer this question for himself.

    I answer myself briefly. Without “then,” there would be no “now.” And that is a fact. In addition to the brilliant clothes and other rubbish that the West brought to our “Indian civilization”, knowledge also came to us. Samples of other people's knowledge, culture, which are difficult to underestimate. It is thanks to this knowledge - we have become what we are now. IT industry for sure.

    Were there any alternatives? It didn’t hurt, I saw them. After a couple of years of studying PCs, I knew more about him than the “computer science teachers” of that time could give me (they just hated me, and I can understand them ... is it nice to hear information that exceeds your knowledge from the milk shredder?). In that, of course, my merit is not, and could not be. My father taught me everything he knew, and even more often shoved books under his nose. So I studied programming. True, he did not greatly succeed in this, being creative in nature, and not accurate. Everything humanitarian was much easier than exact sciences. So I began to become an artist. Poking with a mouse in old 16-color editors.

    If you analyze the past, then my teachers were hackers who broke software and fraudsters who sold it on the market. Because thanks to these pirates, foreign information came to the country - books, software products and games. The state and enterprising people of the 90s at this moment stole trains, plundered factories and enterprises. Where were they in this process before licensed Windows or Microsoft Word? The scale of profits was not the same. As a result, there was no state control over black markets, where it was possible to purchase a bag of CDs in one go. As a result, pirated products were openly sold on the streets of the city, in stalls and in subway crossings. Unprecedented scope of violated copyright.

    Is it possible to assume that this was not deposited in the national consciousness? Is it possible to talk about a culture of compliance with copyright in a country where 5-7 years ago they traded software at metro stations? Is it possible to talk about respect for private property in a country where at any moment you can be deprived of it on not completely legal grounds? Iron, as a means of argumentation and persuasion, remained in the 90s, but the means of communication with commercial structures remain the same. Gangsters. Just a few years ago, I became a witness and an involuntary participant in a situation that I do not want to recall. But the door, flown off the hinges under the blow of a foot of an extremely persistent visitor, too clearly cut into memory. Law? Copyrights? Copyright? In the words of Lord Cutler Becket -"Everything immaterial suddenly became inconsequential . "

    "... the spirit of piracy is in your blood, there's nothing to be done about it." Jack Sparrow

    Have everyone forgotten the war of domestic localizers? Have you already worn out the memory of the pirate labels "Seventh Wolf"? Fargus? Then look behind your back on the bookshelf. They are all there. Or maybe here? In your pc? In the form of ISO images of the “same game”, or maybe “of that very best translation”? I believe you have already forgotten how the product sales regions were divided, how the leadership of some developers' offices set the same "masked people" offices, which burst into offices and took away all computers, into the leadership of others? About how to go outside to smoke, you met your smiling comrade from another office, who instead of working walked around the city, enjoying an extra day off. How in a day or two later all computers, as if nothing had happened, came back and work continued? How it became clear

    Guys, let's not be hypocritical. This is not a reality of the recent past. This is the reality of today. And how can we talk about a civilized solution to issues related to compliance with copyright, copyright in the context of all this? When does a country resemble a card card, where the euro-country smiles brilliantly from above, and the same joker of Russian reality smiles from below, winking?

    Who turned out to be better as a result? What scammers and hackers that brought us information, albeit with violations of other people's copyrights? Or a state that circumcised its citizens the opportunity to learn and improve? Which pinched everyone in the grip of the "information curtain" without providing alternatives? Perhaps I would like to say thanks to “Lenin and the Party” for something worthwhile, but I can’t. I would like to be proud of my country, but in terms of information technology - I can’t. I can’t still. And thanks for my development I have to bring to unknown hackers of those years. How sad it is. It happened. So it happened. And this is also a story. You won’t erase it. You will not get it, replacing it with something more convenient or patriotic. Or is today's patriot the one who plows scaffolds to his own kind? A man who does not know kinship? Who does not remember his story?

    Why is this happening? How is this even possible in a civilized country? So let's see, finally, are we civilized or not? Are we on the path to civilization, or are we the notorious hypocritical joker? And who is following the path of civilization? Intimidated citizens threatened with prison or punishment? What is the percentage of these intimidated? What is the percentage of those who do it consciously, guided by ethical standards? What is the percentage of those who can afford to be decent with the current level of wages, while providing a family of two or three mouths? Are there not such among IT-users? What percentage of the country's population is moving forward, which is standing still, and which is moving back into the troubled past?

    Get in your pocket. Not this one. In another. Where is your cell phone. Are you sure this is a licensed product? What is this not a pirate fake? So what if you bought it at the store? So what, what is the warranty card. Not knowing the fact of the purchase and use of pirated products does not relieve liability. I remind you that even 5-7 years ago, in any store under the guise of a license, you could buy a pirated disc. Why are you sure that what you are calling is not another pirate? A product assembled on Malaya Arnautskaya?

    Edited May 5, 2013Paragraphs devoted to a specific design software and its use in universities, according to the results of comments and information provided by readers, were found to be untrue. They will undergo editing and will be returned to the publication so as not to break the context of the narration, or will be permanently deleted.

    “The sad fate is of those who are unaware of the wondrous delicate bouquet of life on Tortuga.” Jack Sparrow

    In all honesty, we must recognize the fact that even now for non-licensed programs you can transplant or attract half, if not more, of our vast country. Starting from almost any office and ending with social networks, where films, music and games are still stealing actively and without embarrassment. It also turns out that there is a choice - to live honestly and in poverty (which has been a credo for every citizen since time immemorial, when the “reform” was carried out to dispossess wealthy peasants), or to live in sin. Because the purchase of licensed software will take any initiative into the hole. Or the poor. So my mother taught me, “In this country you need to be a beggar so that nothing happens to you, and even in this case, already having a beggarly bag, you can’t end up in prison.”

    Can we fight this? Can we reason about copyright with honest individuals and righteous anger towards us like us? Yes, of course, with the advent of a number of services, the country was more civilized. Now on our computers are licensed games. Many people buy licensed music. Many buy good and tested games. Many people buy good and tried and tested music. But is this true in everything? Do we all use free or alternative programs? Do we all pay for any consumer goods that they suck us in without trying it before?

    And what to do with entire generations that have grown up to "I have the Internet - then I have everything"? Countless myriads of people who believe that the Internet is a piggy bank of free knowledge and entertainment? What to do with the presence in the country of social networks that daily display stolen content? What to do with terabytes of music that spins daily in the audio devices of our vast country? These are all very large, global problems, and we have not decided to solve them. Something can increase from year to year, mythical percentages from which are neither hot nor cold can grow. We occupy some places in some ratings. But this does not change the essence. You can not teach citizens of the country respect for private property, respect for copyright and copyrights on one side of the street and encourage a complete mess on the other.
    And also, as often happens with us, this is a mechanism of pressure from the authorities. For the authorities, we are rather dairy cows, a parallel world filled with strange creatures, which in the case of "escape from the herd" can be planted - "If there was a man, there would be an article." A terrible ghost of the past living among us to this day. It is not known to whom this saying actually belongs. It is attributed to many people who were then in power. The slogan is relevant now. For any of us. For anyone who raises his head too high and does not play by the general rules. After all, we all know how this happens, so what to hide. We know the rules of the game.

    All of the above, in my understanding, makes the country pirate. Makes any of us a potential target. As soon as the target becomes noticeable and poses a threat, it is eliminated. Are you ready for liquidation? Personally, I do not. What remains? To be a beggar? Quiet? Invisible? Or all this, but a lot at once? And what time is it, excuse me?

    Apparently until at least the illusion of a civilized country appears. Until government support programs for software developers appear. Until tenders for participation in the development of technological innovations cease to be programs for budget development and money laundering. Until product development programs on free software are introduced, until the product begins to make a profit. Such precedents (already ceasing to be them) in the IT sphere already exist. It is enough to familiarize yourself with the history of game engines. Until it will be possible to buy any version from the line of software products, and not just the latest ones at fabulous prices. The industry needs to be helped. Just as the branches of education, medicine and the arts need it.
    You can immediately abandon the future, abandon any hope of developing software products and raise the IT sphere in Russia, if it comes to honest development and entrust this to children. Or survive in these conditions. That's what the vast majority of developers do.

    You don’t just have to put on masks of civilization. We want her. This civilization. But we do not have it fully. Just trying to match it. And even if a million, two million or three million conscious citizens live as civilized people are supposed to live, then this does not make such a country as a whole. The desire is laudable, but it does not determine the overall result. And it shouldn’t allow us to talk about the Latvian teacher who posted the textbook on his website as a criminal who should be punished because he didn’t warn someone about his act that someone didn’t understand and who didn’t play by the rules. Not from a good life, this was done, but from hopelessness. Having bought this textbook for the students, the teacher might have done the right thing, but would have condemned his family to hunger.

    Better I think - it will be best - let us, but not ourselves, be called civilized people.

    It seems to me that this is all a national, if not a global problem. The problem, rooted deep in the past, has grown up more than one generation of warped people. Starting from an ordinary citizen and ending with the state, its prominent representatives. A new history cannot be measured from any point by proclaiming that we are now civilized in matters of copyright and copyright. This is not a point on a piece of paper, not a marker on someone’s plane, bypassing which begins the notorious “good”, law and order. First of all, this is the problem of educating generations. Educational problem. The problem of mentality. And it cannot be solved not by prisons, nor by executions. This must be taught. And in this problem - there should not be double standards. There should not be those who are above and below, on one side of the street and on the other. It should be tantamount to everyone

    Maybe it’s a stupid “many letter” post and a run through the grass of a fat “trolley”, they say something like that on the net. Or maybe it's an internal pain. There may be fear for oneself, loved ones and the future. This is not painful. Lives with many of us. With me. Once upon a time, and it begins to seem to me that it will live a long time. When I was completely yellow-handed, and did not read very well in my faces, I remembered one of my father’s crooked smiles. So he smiled when something happened that he could not change, something nasty, vile and giving hypocrisy.
    Recently, I often see a reflection of this smile. When I shave, in the windows of the bus, and in shop windows. And I want my son not to know this smile, not to know its essence, and never try it on himself. Such a naive desire. Let the guy read about all this in books, or skip these lessons. Not a great loss.

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