First Russian BitTorrent User Sentenced, Activists Call For Support

With rampant piracy across much of Russia, one could be forgiven for thinking they don't care about copyright there. That assertion is now up for debate as the first BitTorrent user in Russia is sentenced for illegally distributing software, with anti-copyright activists calling for people to jump on a torrent in protest.

According to a report from rusya.ru, a man has made history by becoming the first person in Russia to be convicted for using BitTorrent to infringe copyright. Sergei Avramov appeared in court in the city of Rostov-on-Don, accused of the illegal distribution of pirated software. Despite his actions being strictly not-for-profit, he was found guilty and received a 12 month suspended sentence.

Avramov was accused of using uTorrent to illegally distribute a piece of expensive business software called 1C which is apparently an application allowing the automation of day-to-day business operations. It’s entirely possible that Avramov upset the wrong businessman in targeting this unusual software.

Now, some Russian self-described ‘anti-copyright activists’ are seeking others to join them, to demonstrate against Avramov’s sentence. A .torrent file for the actual 1C software has appeared on The Pirate Bay, with this included in the description:

“We, the group of anticopyright activists from Russia, ask you for help.

The point is that 04.12.07 there was the first time in Russia when a man was sentenced for filesharing. Sergey Avramov created a torrent for a software of the russian company “1C”.

We think its just the first step, after that will follow new repressions towards filesharing supporters. In our view, the only appropriate way to put pressure on the company is to create a new torrent on an independent server outside Russia and the forthcoming promotion of the link.

This step will show the uselessness of repressive actions towards users of filesharing networks.

We ask you to create a torrent seed for the software ‘1c_enterprise’.”

An .nfo relating to the 1C software carries a message which may well be seen more often in the future as BitTorrent seeders are being encouraged to include it in their own releases. Apart from the regular information it says:

Dear Filesharer,

We hope you enjoy your download.

Did you know that filesharing could soon be a thing of the past?

All across the world, media corporations are lobbying and pressuring national governments to change legislation to allow them to persecute filesharers more efficiently.

We disagree with their idea that piracy is theft. We feel theft involves depriving the owner of something. When a copy is made, the original remains.

The changes of legislation suggested would involve drastic changes of laws protecting personal privacy. We feel that the legislation changes suggested in the EU and the USA are out of proportion.

We believe in changing copyright laws.

If any of this interests you, please visit:

—links—

There are several political parties fighting for your rights. If you would like to vote for one of them in your next national election, please visit:

http://www2.piratpartiet.se/international/

Upcoming election for the Swedish parliament on 17th Sep 2006!

http://www.pp-international.net/forum/

International network of Pirate Parties.

If you’re not interested, please accept our apology for using your bandwidth to spread the word.

Thank you for your attention!

If you believe in our cause, please include this file in your next seed! There are enough of us to make a difference!

It’s not clear how many .nfo’s it will take to help turn around anti-torrent big business, but spreading the word to the masses via this powerful medium will certainly help get the word out to millions of file-sharers worldwide.

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