back to article Russia bans foreign software purchases for critical infrastructure

Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the purchase of foreign software – be it standalone applications or code shipping in equipment – for significant critical infrastructure projects, with limited exceptions. From here on, organizations must seek approval before they can buy in overseas software for this level of …

  1. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

    Software with western components

    Don't most of the commonly used software have at the least western components, such as frameworks, etc?

    And the most common OS is Windows. And even if you switch to Linux, libreoffice or other opensource software, there is substantial western input as well.

    The only commonly used software I can think of which is from Russia is from Kaspersky.

    Not sure how this will work for them.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Software with western components

      Not sure how this will work for them.

      They could try forking ReactOS...

      (when Pootie is finally deposed or ??? maybe they could re-submit as actual contributions to the project!)

    2. thames Silver badge

      Re: Software with western components

      I suspect it's mainly about who does commercial support. To pick a simple example, if a customer has a server with an American Linux distro, it can be replaced by an equivalent Russian distro. The customer then deals with a Russian company for support rather than an American company.

      For things like Oracle databases, convert to using Postgres (or whatever) with a Russian company providing commercial support.

      Obviously for some situations this is a bigger job than others. However, there is probably a lot of low hanging fruit to be taken which will cut American and western European companies out of the picture, greatly reducing the effects of Western trade boycotts.

      It's the obvious response. It's not like the Russians are just going to sit there and do nothing.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Software with western components

        Except most of that open source code is written "in the West", or more specifically, outside Russia.

        We saw a couple of weeks ago, where a rogue developer slipped some code into a very common JavaScript library to erase contents on PCs with Russian IP addresses.

        When you are importing code wholesale, you will often miss things like this, especially if the code is obfuscated.

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Software with western components

        That is also my take on what probably will happen. Open source is effectively sufficiently Russian, if it can be supported locally. The point is ensuring you don't become dependent on a foreign company and its servers for updates (and there is no practical way to prevent Russia from obtaining updates for open source), and to ensure the source can be audited.

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Software with western components

        No, it's not like the Russians are just going to sit there and do nothing.

        Most people in the age groups subject to conscription with any form of transferrable skillset are fleeing the country for somewhere that cares at least slightly about their welfare. Given that everybody capable of coding [in English] will also be aware via less censored media about what's actually going on in Russia, these people tend to be among the quarter million and counting people leaving Russia for pastures greener.

        To quote the BBC article:-

        Many of the new emigres are tech industry professionals who can work remotely. A video games developer I met at a cafe in Tbilisi told me that he and most people he knew disagreed with Russian policy and they knew now that any protest would be violently suppressed.

        "The only way we can protest is to leave the country, take our skills and money with us. Almost everyone in our circle has made a similar decision," said Igor

        So if the substantial majority of Russia's IT industry has just left Russia for civilisation, who's left in Russia to write and support a new Operating System? And when whomever is left gets trained up on English and Coding, what's the chances of them staying in Russia instead of leaving to get a much better life in the west?

        Maybe he'll try and build a new Berlin wall between him and Ukraine etc to prevent his workers fleeing the workers paradise for the comparative paradise of western countries?

        1. lotus123

          Re: Software with western components

          This is all nice and dandy for a while but their visas / or allowed time will run out and most will be pushed to return unless the West takes some action and lets them get permanent status in some meaningful way.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Software with western components

            "This is all nice and dandy for a while but their visas / or allowed time will run out and most will be pushed to return unless the West takes some action and lets them get permanent status in some meaningful way."

            The West needs to learn from mistakes made during WWII and scoop up highly skilled and educated people looking to leave Russia. In WWII, it was Jewish scientists and engineers that had to flee and were looking for academic and industrial positions. I remember when the Wall fell and many ex-Soviet engineers were getting picked up by American companies for pennies on the dollar.

            Emigres with coding and engineering skills are far better to let in than poorly educated ditch diggers. They pay more in taxes as well. Some politician might still care about that.

    3. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Software with western components

      Re: "Not sure how this will work for them."

      Yes Sir, well have it done in 3 days, Sir.

      Can I go now?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Software with western components

      With the brain drain they're experiencing and the sanctions, what exactly do they think they're going to do:

      This is their import % from overseas

      Machinery including computers: US$54.3 billion (18.5% of total imports)

      Electrical machinery, equipment: $36.8 billion (12.5%)

      So a third of their imports if specialised technology which they now need to source locally.

      Oh wait the sanctions:

      - Cannot import or export anything

      - No flights going in or out

      - No participation in pretty much every international cultural, economical and technical organisation

      - International pariah status

      - 'Emerging economy' status now removed and classed as a failed state with an economy in junk status. No way to get external funding

      - 100,000 talented tech people have fled the country - the ones that would actually program/produce this software.

      I guess there's always the Chinese that will be happy to sell you 'Xi Jinping OS' - don't worry about the outgoing HTTP callouts to China.. they're just analytics. I swear.

      1. schermer
        Facepalm

        Re: Software with western components

        They could always use their Indian connections ...

    5. lotus123

      Re: Software with western components

      I think it mostly the matter of control. For open source projects they can just fork and keep developing their own version where they free to change anything they like. Commercial software controlled by foreign company on the other hand can potentially cut the oxygen at will.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best of luck with that mate

    While I expect the concerns of running all of Russia's national infrastructure on pirated copies from the Russian dark web are quite real, I also doubt there are enough coders to replace more than a fraction of that code in a couple of years.

    Russia may fare better than North Korea in this regard, but insisting on nationalist DIY program on that scale is choosing to fail both spectacularly and publicly on a scale worthy of the Tzars or the old CCCP. Mao and Stalin levels of self inflicted and preventable failure.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Best of luck with that mate

      People still need docs on the Internet for all pirated software.

      Docs websites should all put a #StandWithUkraine link on the front page with real news and we see how fast Russian authorities can lock themselves out of real technical information along with the software.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        httpsed://

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best of luck with that mate

      Feel so sorry for the Russian people who have watched their economy implode in 30 days.. not to mention their ejection from every cultural, economical and technical organisation in the world... Russia is now a pariah state for the foreseeable future and you'll mention them in the same breath as North Korea and Venezuela... where you make memes about their tinpot dictators strutting it large... One thing Putin restored is the old Soviet economy... party likes it's 1991 baby yeah!!!!

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        Venezuela is back online as non-pariah - they have oil and the US has suddenly kicked them off the naughty step.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best of luck with that mate

      Hi, I am known as Vlad the butcher, Vlad Putler, Vladimir Hitler ot just plain ol' Vlad.

      I am openly homophobic and my ego is the size of my country. I fall over on ice skates because I can't skate properly in a hockey match where I apparently scored 8 goals.

      I was worried about neo-nazis, or drug dealers or something so thought I'd just invade my neighbour in the Ukraine. Did I say invade? I meant friendly special military operation.

      I sent in 120 of my 168 tactical batallion groups in - a whopping 100,000 combat soldiers.. pretty much 75% of my combat ready troops. I've taken 60,000 casualties dead/wounded/captured in 30 days which makes them all now combat ineffective and now I need to 'reposition' them by running for the border... don't worry, it's 100% going to plan...

      Oh and now I want to build my own tech industry from nothing even though I've been using Western software and components since 1991... also there's no way I can possibly import anything because I've made my economy implode in 30 days... hey come back I haven't finished!!! I've also got these worthless roubles I want you to buy your gas in.. I know you're my biggest customer and my entire energy infrastructure was built to service you but apparently I annoyed you and now you won't be buying anything from me in the next 8 years... wait are you still reading this?

      1. Plest Silver badge

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        The one I like best is "Vlaldolf"!

        1. Altrux

          Re: Best of luck with that mate

          I'm claiming credit for that one. I did actually dream it up a couple of weeks ago, but it might well be a case of 'simultaneous invention' with others... :)

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        I think your casualty estimate is a tad optimistic. But such is war. You don't get the real butchers bill until after the shooting stops. The bill will also be an estimate because you have to account for IDPs, refugees, locating grave sites, searching and recovering bodies from destroyed buildings etc etc.

        Plus investigating how those bodies came to be, or just identifying them. Not exactly a pleasant task, but sadly one where the investigators have gained plenty of experience given all the conflicts over the last 50yrs. I've read a couple of books by investigators working in the former Yugoslavia, and they're very grim tales.

        Ukraine has some experience though given their civil war since 2014. They've been less good at prosecuting crimes though. The MSM can also create a distortion effect by reporting exaggerated figures, or being rather one sided. March 14th something exploded in the centre of Donetsk, killing 28 civilians. Ukraine claims it was a car bomb, Donetsk a Tochka-U, and an OSI group reckons it was fired from Russia by the position of the tail fin.

        So one single incident where the truth is TBC. The presence of missile fragments rather contradicts Ukraine's car bomb claim though. But I'm curious about the legal aspects though. DPR claims it was a missile, which they'd shot down. That's a problem with ABM and theatre defence systems, which have been used extensively & effectively in this conflict. Unless the warhead and detonators are disrupted by the interceptor, the missile may just drop short and still detonate. So who's liable when that kills civilians?

        That's a challenge Israel's had. It's Iron Dome system has been effective, but still has to be careful where it tries to intercept. Plus the interceptor missiles have frag warheads, so potentially lethal. AFAIK a lot of interceptors are designed to detonate if they miss.

        As for the economic effects, they're also harming the West. Rouble has recovered since Russia announced unfriendly nations would have to pay in roubles. Which means customers would need to buy roubles with dollars or euros, boosting Russia's foreign currency reserves.

        So Germany's said 'nein' to that, and warned of impending gas shortages. BASF's warned that if it's gas supplies stop, so does BASF. So potentially 40-50,000 job losses, plus the loss of all the products it currently produces in Germany.

        But such is politics. Especially the ecofreaks that want to ban fossil fuels. It's kinda hard for companies like BASF to produce all the stuff they do, without using fossil fuels & derivatives as feedstocks.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Best of luck with that mate

          With regards to the casualty estimates; this is a list of links to pictures (or video) of every bit of destroyed, abandoned or captured Russian bit of equipment on the internet from the Ukraine war:-

          https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

          At the time of writing, Russia has lost 2182 vehicles where there are pictures or video there to prove it. 361 tanks are smouldering piles of wreckage, most of which have the turrets blown clean off. It's improbable that anybody walked away from those alive. Russian tanks have a crew of 3, so that's already exceeded Russia's claim of how many people from their army have died. (which excludes their allies)

          I'd be inclined to say that Ukraine's estimates of 15,000 dead are reasonably realistic based on documented dead tanks and IFV/APC's spread across the landscape. There is usually an assumption of 3 injured to one dead in an army, which I imagine is where he's getting the figure of 60,000 casualties.

          The reality is that the Russian conscripts aren't effectively taught First Aid to the standard required in a modern workplace, let alone that suitable for a battlefield. They also don't discernibly have effective medevac to field hospitals and therefore most of their wounded will die before reaching a hospital, demonstrating worse health outcomes from survivable injuries than a medieval army would have, so i'd be surprised if the Ukrainian figures aren't underestimating deaths significantly. (and obviously they don't know anything about the Russian's who starved or froze to death, or those shot for deserting the glorious Red Army on it's gory road to vicus.

          Also; Russia will lie about their total number of killed and injured post war because they will want to go back to being the big, scary, competent Russian Army feared by half the world, rather than a comedy skit on how not to run a 3rd world army.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Best of luck with that mate

            Yup.

            The Bbc has and article about losses in the 331st Guards Parachute Regiment being 'wiped out' according to Ukraine, or just a symbolic failure according to the Bbc because it might have lost 39 soldiers. Out of 2,000+.

            But Russia would have anticipated losses, especially in it's assault formations because they're the tip of the spear. And as you say, 1 tank is 3 casualties. Or 1 BMP-3 could be 10-12. And most would be KIA due to the lethality of modern anti-armour weaponry.

            But mistakes have been made, ie video showing tank or IFV columns being attacked in formations. So whether that's a training or command failure because scouting isn't effective, or infantry aren't because they're in their taxis, not dismounted and protecting their vehicles. Then how quickly Russia can adapt to Ukraine's tactics.

            But such is war. I think there's a risk that denigrating Russia's performance could lead to Russia going back to more traditional doctrine. In some ways, Russia's been fairly restrained, and Ukrainian casualties fairly light. Russia and Putin are already damned, so why not Groznify (or do a Belgrade on) Kiev. That's typically Russian, ie heavy bombardment, advance and repeat until you're in the centre.

      3. jetjet

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        I forgot, I have to rebuild my army again, because a decade long military upgrade didn't go very well even tho we spent a lot of money (I thought yahts and private jets will help the military).

        The rest of my hyper non-presize weapons are shattered by the Neonazis.

        Too bad I can't import some inteligent services, as mine suck.

        But my priority now is to build oil machineries from scratch to extract that damn oil from the ground before existing american pumps start to wear and tear.

        The good news is I stole thousands of comersial planes which I leased from the damn West.

      4. TimMaher Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Vlad

        You missed out “Vlad the Impaler”.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Best of luck with that mate

      Agreed, although the sanctions from the US on major telecom suppliers in China from 2016-2020 also showed the folly of using non-home-grown kit.

      When the sanctions started, the EU certainly started looking at sourcing internally for as much of their critical infrastructure as possible. Having power, water, gas, communications etc. being held hostage at the whim of a foreign entity, even an ally, is not a good look.

      But the EU probably has a more diverse starting point than Russia.

    5. Plest Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Best of luck with that mate

      Yeah but this is the same bloke who got a bunch of office admin/managers that are his ministers, to organise the military invasion of a well defended and organised neighbour, instead of getting proper battle hardended generals, then got his arsed handed back to him on a plate and he still won't admit he's wrong.

      Don't see this latest load of old bollocks he's spouting to be taken seriously!

      "Yeah we needed to use git...oh. We need use svn...oh. We need to use node...oh. We need to use a C compiler...oh. We need to use Python....oh. We need to use linux...of for the love of Putin!! FFS!!"

      1. CommonBloke

        Re: Best of luck with that mate

        So they'll have to start from step 1: create the universe

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    What's old is new again

    Pirating copyrighted material? USSR did that for decades. The main thing that stopped the practice was the realization that by joining the international copyright union, they could prevent Russian works they didn't want others to read from being published outside the country.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: What's old is new again

      If you prevent software updates, pirated software becomes a security hole.

      If Apple and Google prevent updates in Russian phones. They have two options, tell rich moscovitas to use Russian phones or @anonops and all their own local hackers have a field day hacking the rich and famous peeps with published exploits.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What's old is new again

        "their own local hackers have a field day hacking the rich and famous peeps with published exploits."

        The reason they've got away with it (or been encouraged) all this time is that they don't turn on their own. If they try that now they're likely to find themselves in the front line with a rifle.

        1. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: What's old is new again

          They have to get caught.

          It would test a hacker's love of mother Russia and it's oligarchs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's old is new again

        3rd option: Use the Aurora OS they already have, for everyone's phones, not just certain govt ones.

        Ironically, this might benefit the rest of us by breaking the US duopoly.

        (Sailfish worked well enough for me, until the phone broke. With, say, 50 million users, there would be no problem bringing Sailfish up to snuff)

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    "Russia bans foreign software purchases for critical infrastructure"

    Well ain't that perfect timing ?

    Most foreign software houses have banned dealing with Russia.

    Everyone's happy then ?

  5. Number 39

    Perhaps Microsoft could revive the windows not activated background.

    But this time make it half blue and half yellow.

  6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Not sure how this is going to make any difference. According to THIS site, Russia is ranked #38 in software piracy at 73%.

    I do not believe this means "everyone must stop using western software" but rather "everyone stops paying for western software".

    I guess the old adage of "what is old is new" and (serial number) generators &/or crackers are going to be in season again.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I’m guessing it really means that they don’t trust what might be in the software, how it might spy on them or be used for sabotage.

      Years ago, the Russian government adopted Sailfish OS on Sony handsets for cellphones. They have their own version of it called Aurora since Jolla backed out.

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

        I’m guessing it really means that they don’t trust what might be in the software, how it might spy on them or be used for sabotage.

        No arguments there, however, Russia has a massive talent pool. Imagine what would happen if Russia invested their pool of hackers and software programmers and made an OS of their own. Something that can even go toe-to-toe with Windows and Apple OS.

        Instead, Russia decides to use that talent pool and sabotage other people's network and OS and thereby creating a vicious cycle of "distrust" in the western-branded software they themselves are using, legally or not.

  7. localzuk Silver badge

    Does it apply to firmware?

    Eg. the OS on Cisco routers or telecoms kit?

    Suspect there's gonna be some holes in their available options!

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Does it apply to firmware?

      More like holes in Cisco's products. One gaping one is Cisco's lack of core optical products. So that's a hole that's filled by vendors like Infinera and Huawei. One job I did was for a broadcast client that wanted support for video transmission, as well as more traditional data types. Huawei was about the only vendor that offered native video, and options to switch circuits via it's NMS.

      There was also some fun with a video standard who's name escapes me. It presents like an Ethernet, but isn't. So plug it into an Ethernet port, and traffic gets dropped because it's not a valid Etherframe. Luckily good switch vendors offer unstructured interfaces where you can configure line rate and other parameters, which can be very handy when faced with non-Internet requirements. Also useful to support FUN! things like getting quantum encryption devices working across WAN links.

    2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Does it apply to firmware?

      Eg. the OS on Cisco routers or telecoms kit?

      Huawei for the go!

      Plus, Huawei code is unhackable. No software vulnerabilities, no exploits, no zero-days. Nuthin'.

      </troll>

  8. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
    Joke

    Embedded software

    Most device-embedded software these days is, like the devices themselves, of Chinese or Taiwanese origin, isn't it?

  9. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    Grey market goods? China gearing up...

    ... to sell them counterfeit ones....

    Russians will be proud of their Plada bags and Almani suits...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like an open invitation to every black hat in the world

    #just saying ...

    1. Plest Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sounds like an open invitation to every black hat in the world

      Best observation so far sir! Brilliant!

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Don't write those Russkies off just yet...

    Don't write off those Russkies. They are very good at copying things. Just look at the awesome cinematic job they did with their homespun Lord of The Rings...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVwypiLatbo

    1. lotus123

      Re: Don't write those Russkies off just yet...

      Holy smoke. This is indeed awesome. This interpretation was definitely made while everyone involved was on shroom diet.

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Don't write those Russkies off just yet...

      Pass the mind bleach please

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Don't write those Russkies off just yet...

      Wow. Makes even the rotoscoped 1978 Bakshi version look great in comparison.

      So, how about those rip-off Asylum films?

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So Putin has banned any foreign software purchase for critical infrastructure, but I guess that doesn't mean they are going to rip out whats already there to replace it with Russian coded software? I expect that for a lot of stuff there is no home grown alternative. And you can't just knock something up overnight to replace western software that has taken years to develop.

    Even something as 'easy' as replacing Windows PCs with the Russian made Astra Linux isn't something that can be easily done if they are using any proprietary Windows software that won't run under WINE.

    As for the open source projects that decided to delete files where a Russian IP address is detected, this is a carpet bombing approach to protesting against Russian government aggression. As the developer can't know whether that that IP is a government one or if it belongs to a individual citizen, hospital, charity or anti war organisation.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      It looks like Putin has only banned the purchase of foreign software, not the theft of foreign software so there's relatively little change.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    KremlinOS

    KremlinOS, here I come !!!

    Written by 2 barely fed teens, whose parents disappeared some time ago (truth be told, they were heard saying "war in Ukraine is horrible", so this could be a factor), who were the only ones remaining in Russia, with some Basic knowledge.

    Could re-use some old MS-DOS base for a start.

    This is really telling about Putin's state of insanity.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: KremlinOS

      "with some Basic knowledge."

      I initially read that as "some BASIC knowledge". Writing an OS in BASIC? On the other hand, the first iterations of The Last One were written in BASIC and produced BASIC apps.

  14. GrooveCat
    Facepalm

    back to these days?

    https://rk.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/computers/clones/russian.htm

    It took them how long to reverse engineer just the Uncommitted Logic Array??

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unintended consequences

    Once Comrade Vlad realises his ban means the motherland's computers will be running systemd, the Red Army will be out of Ukraine faster than the Lying Shagger can have a party in Downing Street.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: unintended consequences

      The unintended consequences are that all those Window 7 machines will stay put and eventually Russia will have the most stable and probably bug free environment of anybody ,,,,

      Windows 11 why ?

  16. stronnag

    Kremvax

    Hope it still boots. Right on cue too.

  17. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Eugene's revenge

    this is direct retaliation for the US putting Kaspersky on the entity list

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright and Patents are monopoly privileges granted by the state to private entities (in return for some rather vague and ill defined, hypothetical benefits to the public). The state has the perfect right to revoke those privileges.

    If you can't or won't supply (and western companies fall into both those categories in Russia now), then I can't see how you have even the feeblest leg to stand on when the government revokes your privileges. Exactly what benefit is a man on the Molodyozhnaya omnibus is getting in return for continuing to grant monopoly privileges to western companies?

    (As an aside, I find it it astounding copyright doesn't impose any responsibilities or duties at all, in return for granting an insanely valuable privilege. For example, an obligation to supply in a timely fashion.)

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      "(As an aside, I find it it astounding copyright doesn't impose any responsibilities or duties at all, in return for granting an insanely valuable privilege. For example, an obligation to supply in a timely fashion.)"

      Because you appear not to understand why it exists. Copyright exists to protect the effort someone has gone through to create the copyrighted work. If you have gone to a lot of effort to make something but you choose not to sell it to me, that's normal. The same is true of something that's easier to mass-produce. It's designed to make information that has been created property (temporarily), and therefore ideally encourage the creation of more and prevent those who have created it from spending all their time hiding it from those they don't want to have it.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Copyright and Patents are monopoly privileges granted by the state to private entities "

      That first part is correct. If you don't do anything creative, you many have never really understood why Copyright and Patents are important. While the period of Copyright is excessive in my opinion and seems to be extended each time Disney's hold on the first Mickey Mouse cartoons comes close to expiring, it is important. Many artists don't make much money in their lifetime so it's not bad that they have a body of work that lives on that their heirs might be able to monetize. If the term of Copyright is too short, many bands would lose control of their back catalog about the time they finally get noticed and fans look to buy those old albums. Some movies are lackluster at the box office but earn money over the long haul allowing actors an income in a very fickle industry where a couple of jobs a year can be the norm (besides waiting tables).

      Why should a Copyright impose a duty. If I don't want to supply you with one of my photos, that's one of my rights. I have to admit that the vast percentage of my photos aren't "insanely valuable". I might have made a little bit of money on them initially, but they are doomed to languish on a couple of hard drives until I die and those drives get binned. A few images might become valuable (I hope) due to somebody in them winding up in the news.

  19. nautica Bronze badge
    Go

    They're EVERYWHERE. Nice to know that dumb-ass politicians are not limited to the US.

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the purchase of foreign software"

    That's a fantastic idea.

    In one year, give us an update as to how this is working out, El Reg. Now don't forget...

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Permission to import?

    I didn't realize I needed explicit permission to import products into a country. I mean, I could see excluding it (if you have a specified importer and don't want others bringing product in), but I would assume when a company says nothing one way or the other, the default would be "what is not forbibden is allowed", that I'm free to buy product overseas and bring it into the country.

  21. Winkypop Silver badge
    Stop

    Oh dear Vlad

    You’ve become as crazy as the memes themselves.

    After Trump and then Covid what the world needs LEAST is more of Putin’s atrocities and Trump 2.0

    FFS

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