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Nginx/Rambler Dispute Over Code

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Development
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Legal
  • What’s yours is ours Rambler Group claims exclusive rights to world’s most popular web-server software, six months after it's sold to U.S. company for 670 million dollars

    On Thursday, December 12, Russian law enforcement raided the Moscow office of the IT company “Nginx,” which owns the eponymous web-server used by almost 500 million websites around the world. According to several reports, Nginx co-founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov spent several hours in police interrogation. The search is part of a criminal case based on charges by a company tied to the Russian billionaire and Rambler Group co-owner Alexander Mamut, whose businesses believe they own the rights to the Nginx web-server because Sysoev started developing the code while working for Rambler in 2004. Meduza’s correspondent Maria Kolomychenko looks at how Sysoev and his partners spent 15 years creating the world’s most popular web-server before selling it to an American firm for $670 million, and how Rambler decided, half a year later, that it owns the technology.

  • ‘A typical racket, simple as that’ Nginx co-founder Maxim Konovalov explains Rambler's litigation against his company, which develops the world’s most popular web-server

    Russia’s IT industry is in the midst of a major conflict between businesses belonging to “Rambler Group” co-owner Alexander Mamut and the company “Nginx,” created by Igor Sysoev and his partner Maxim Konovalov. Nginx’s key product is the eponymous web-server used by more than a third of the world’s websites. Sysoev first released the software in 2004, while still an employee at Rambler, which is now claiming exclusive rights to Nginx, based on its interpretation of Russian law. The police have already joined the dispute, launching a criminal investigation and searching Nginx’s Moscow office. In an interview with Meduza, Nginx co-founder Maxim Konovalov described the police raid and explained why he thinks it took Rambler 15 years to claim ownership over the coveted web-server technology, which recently sold to the American corporation “F5 Networks” for $670 million.

Cops storm Nginx's Moscow offices

It gets yet worse

Police Raid in Moscow’s NGINX HQ

  • Police Raid in Moscow’s NGINX HQ

    Russian police raided Nginx’s Moscow offices, a company that’s behind the open source web server and reverse proxy server suite, a fast-growing alternative to Apache (about 30% of websites use Nginx, including Netflix and Twitch).

    According to local media, in addition to the raid at the Nginx offices, Russian police have arrested Igor Sysoev, Nginx’s conceptual founder and his colleague and co-founder, Maxim Konovalov.

Rambler will drop NGINX criminal case

  • Rambler will drop NGINX criminal case

    Following intense backlash from the open-source and Russian tech communities, Russian internet company Rambler sait it would drop its criminal case against NGINX Inc, the company behind the world's most popular web server.

    Instead, Rambler will pursue any ownership claims over the NGINX source code in civil court, a Rambler spokesperson told ZDNet today.

    The decision was taken on Monday in a meeting of Rambler's board of directors. The meeting was called by Sberbank, one of Russia's largest banks and Rambler's largest shareholder, with a stake of 46.5% in the company.

Nginx hits back at copyright infringement claim over open source

  • Nginx hits back at copyright infringement claim over open source software

    A Russian police raid on Nginx's Moscow office last Thursday has raised concerns among users of the popular web and proxy server software.

    Several employees, including chief developer Igor Sysoev and co-founder Maxim Konovalov, were interviewed by police over a criminal copyright infringement complaint, The Financial Times reports.

    The raid arrived a week after Russian search engine and internet firm Rambler, Sysoev's former employer, claimed full ownership of the Nginx code. Rambler Internet Holding is reportedly requesting $51 million RUB ($810,000), Forbes.ru reports via The Moscow Times.

    Nginx, a firm created in 2011 to provide support for users of the eponymous open source web server software, was bought by US firm F5 Networks for $670 million back in March. Nginx was first released in 2004.

    In response to queries from The Daily Swig, F5 confirmed the police raid (without elaborating) in what amounts to a holding statement.

    "Yesterday [Thursday], Russian police came to the Nginx Moscow office," it said. "We are still gathering the facts and as such we have no further comments to make at this time."

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