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Police Raid Nginx Offices in Moscow

Mon, 16th December 2019, 12:24

As being reported by local Russian media outlets, Russian police have raided the offices of Nginx, arresting the two co-founders Maxim Konovalov and Igor Sysoev, as well as other employees of the company. Nginx is a free and open-source software used in approximately a third of the global server market. It is a massively used tool that can also be used as a load balancer, mail proxy, reverse proxy, and HTTP cache.

A copyright claim was recently filed by Russian search engine Rambler allegedly Sysoev created Nginx while he was working as a system administrator for Rambler. They are also claiming that Sysoev was developing Nginx during his working hours, and then distributed the source code illegally, costing the company damages of 51.4 million rubles ($825,400USD). This means that the case is no longer solely based on intellectual property rights disputes but also criminal accusations.

In an interview given back in 2012, Sysoev denied that he has worked on the development of Nginx during his working hours, stating that it was a side-project that he focused on in his free time. The likely reason for the renewed interest in the claim was Nginx recent sale to American based F5 Networks this past March. F5 Networks bought the company for $670 million. F5 Networks is a major player working with leading technology partners to deploy their networks anywhere in today’s multi-cloud world.

Seems the Russian government wasn’t particularly happy with the deal so if the court rules that Nginx is actually a property of Rambler, then the recent sale of the company could be disputed, although this will be a extremely complicated process from any legal standpoint.

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