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translator | 24.05.2007 19:21

EMI announced it will start selling mp3 in Russia on Jun 5 with Soundkey.ru online music store. Soundkey was founded at the end of last year to act on the direct label-to-store licensing scheme as opposed to Allofmp3.com 'legal piracy' model. Although EMI was first to release tracks without DRM protection in Apple's iTunes store, its Russian represantative say, the company is not ready yet to do this on Russian market. At the moment Soundkey is selling 10,000 albums from Sony BMG, $0,58 per song. 'It may take EMI a year or so to offer DRM-free mp3 to Russian consumers", Soundkey's CEO Sonya Sokolova assumes.

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translator | 22.05.2007 22:59

Nizhniy Novgorod police department finished the investigation of the card frauders case which made a lot of noise recently. Ten members of the criminal chain were disclosed and arrested. Their leader, a 21-year old Mariy El resident, kept in touch with hackers who were stealing bank accounts information from Russian and foreign databases and recieved 25-30% of all earnings. The others produced fake clone cards to encash them in ATMs or to pay in stores. If they are found guilty, each one of those ten carders could go to jail for up to 10 years. Although many of hacked banks prefered to pay damages to their clients and not to show up in this lawsuit for reputational concerns.

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translator | 22.05.2007 22:58

Russian market of opensource software will reach $200 million by 2010 comparing to less than 50 million in 2006, FINAM analysts say. Server software has the main impact on the market growth. Its share in opensource software sales may reach 50% soon and exceed the same figure in Europe and US. At the same time FINAM are not very optimistic about client software with open code. Linux market share among the operating systems is not more than 0,5%. Opensource applications for Windows along with Firefox, OpenOffice and Gimp are more popular - they run on 5-7% of PCs. And this figure would continue to increase with new copyright law restrictions.

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translator | 22.05.2007 22:57

The Ministry of Information and Communication presented a program to provide a basic software suit for every school in Russia by the new academic year. The Ministry of Finance says the program needs to be reconsidered for it may lead to Microsoft's monopoly. Still officials who run the question in the Ministry of Information and Communication are sure opensource software would do no good to Russian school education.

The software suit described in the federal program was formed after revision of computer equipment in Russian schools. Schools reported what kind of software or what certain program they need at computer classes. The program is to compromise educational needs and federal budget possibilities. As a result Microsoft's Windows and Office, Adobe's graphic managers and other high-cost products were chosen. Within those not even any educational or campus program was mentioned in Ministry's document. The main reason they give against using free software is that major applications are not supported by Linux. And that skills of using Linux (or any other alternative to patent license software) don't meet business demands which young professionals face.

"We want our children to get the best. Let them learn driving on Audi, so that they could manage Audis when they are adults", comments Maksut Shadaev, the head of national projects department in the Ministry of Information and Communication. But at the moment most schools are using PCs running on unlicensed Windows copies while their teachers are sued for copyright infringement.

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translator | 17.05.2007 21:45

Ad designer Denis Kharitonov noted his copyrighted illustration on the cover of RBC Daily newspaper. The picture was published on his personal blog two years ago - now he's going to sue newspaper publishers - RBC Information Systems for copyright infringement. Everyone has fun about the situation for just few weeks ago RBC was finished with the lawsuit from Vedomosti on the same accusation. By court's decision RBC.ru was imposed a 2,800,000 rubles penalty.

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translator | 17.05.2007 21:44

A code to ban Estonian IP's was published on LiveJournal by Russian blogger. In his post the author encourages readers to embed the code into their websites and blogs as a protest againts moving a monument to Soviet soldier from Tallin's streets to the city cemetry. Those who comment are mostly pointing at technological shortsite of this action - first of all this code would ban Russians who live in Estonia from visiting Russian websites. They offer alternative algorithms, like banning based on language preferences in users' browsers.

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translator | 17.05.2007 21:42

Two weeks ago the respected Russian media websites - Kommersant.ru (daily business newspaper) and Echo.msk.ru (Echo Moscow radio) - faced hours-long denial of service fallout. Few weeks before online resources devoted to all-Russian liberal rally "March of disagreement" were down for days. Now massive attacks of Drugaja Rossija ("Another Russia") party take place. This cases gave their victims every reason to believe DDoSers are financed by political powers.

Kommersant.ru fell down after it has published a record of Boris Berezovsky questioning by Russian police related to Aleksandr Litvinenko's death. But website's chief editor Pavel Chernikov sees no political attachments to this case and would rather suspect of few teenagers learning 'cool tricks' and playing hackers.

Aleksandr Plushev from Echo.msk.ru admits that DDoS-attacks as an instrument of information wars is nothing new although these recent attacks showed new bounds of attackers' resources. 'It would be possible to proceed the attackers only if officials are interested and force security services to manage it", he resumes.

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translator | 14.05.2007 19:41

Aleksandr Ponosov, a village school prinicipal sued for unlincesed Windows on school computers, was found guilty. The court evaluated Microsoft's loss at 266,000 rubles and sentenced Ponosov to 5,000 rubles penalty, although the company had no money claims to the convict and said it would be satisfied with his public apology. Still we may consider Aleksandr Ponosov lucky for he was sued before the new law with 5 years imprisonment for copyright violation came into force.

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translator | 14.05.2007 19:40

RIPN officials and domain names Russian registrars are in discussion to make the publication of domain owners' private data optional. At the moment names and contacts of every domain holder in .RU is publicly available in RIPN's whois database. The deadline for RIPN to make changes meeting new rules of the Federal Law on private data is Jan,1 2010. The registrars are eager to complete it within few months.

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translator | 14.05.2007 19:37

Russian federal service of drug circulation control (FSCD) released another videogame to prevent drug abuse. "Antinarcomania" arcade for kids and schoolchildren released in February was completed with a shooter "FSCD Fighter". Promoting their first game FSCD officials emphasized its positive and social nature as opposed to violence of common videogames or TV programs. However FSCD fighter's plot is not that innocent. A player acts as a secret agent. He is supposed to get into mafia and to inform his bosses in FSCD on how heroin would be transported from Colubmia to Russia. The game also brings political "education" delivering ideas like "the revenue from drug deals would be invested into international terrorism'.

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