4. A moral aspect of the problem

Police raids on the black-market software dealers – and this was mentioned in the mass media – were initiated by Russian computer companies, who had noticed illegal copies of their software on hawkers' stands. It's worth noting that the office workers of these companies have cut their teeth professionally on pirate copies of others' programs. They have, of course, been installing these illegal programs with the aim of general education and science, but consider the following. It's alleged that the Moscow department of a certain renowned computer company was behind the police raids. A department of that very company followed up with a lengthy series of copyright infringement trials. This renowned company would be advised to understand the Windows interface copyright before going off to inform on someone else. Have you ever seen the principal of this firm? Does he look like a man who has been robbed?

The Biblical story tells that Jesus Christ rescued an unfaithful wife from mob law, having appealed for someone without sin to cast the first stone at the miserable woman. I have a similar feeling, that our press (the voice of the crowd) attempts to invoke mob law against our miserable domestic program users[5]. In doing so, a hawker from Gorbushka and a high school teacher are quite often lumped into the same category.[6] Yes, they both indeed have illegal copies in their hands, but they should be named and, especially, judged in a different manner, considering all the above angles. The Gorbushka traders are not concerned with copyright law at all. They should be prosecuted under quite different measures and articles of law – such as infringement of trade regulations, or even larceny and robbery. The Russian software manufacturers – and not only Russian – have got into a vicious circle. On the one hand, it's valid to protect your own rights by all possible means, but on the other, you can scarcely claim the moral high ground if you have repeatedly infringed someone else's rights and will continue to do so (if your son, for instance, 'skims' virtual games from black-market disks at home).

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