Russian police have raided the Moscow offices of NGINX, over a copyright infringement complaint filed by Rambler Group, owner of Russia’s biggest search engines and internet portals. The Rambler Group claims full ownership of the webserver codes used by the NGINX. The search warrant was shared by the NGINX employees on Twitter but tweets were deleted later at the request of Russian police. According to the tweets, NGINX creator and current CTO Igor Sysoev and co-founder Maxim Konovalov have been detained.
The rightful owner of the project
Rambler is claiming Sysoev developed the NGINX while he was working for the Rambler as a system administrator, hence they are the rightful owner of the project because they believe Sysoev was working on the project during work hours. Sysoev created the NGINX web server in the early 2000s and made it an open-source project a few years later. He founded the company in 2015 and it is now acquired by F5 Networks for $670 million. Although Sysoev claims that he worked on the project during his free time, Rambles believes he illegally distributed the program which caused Rambler to estimate the damage of 51.4 million rubles.
“Nginx is an official work, the development of which since the beginning of the 2000s in the framework of labor relations with Rambler, was carried out by Igor Sysoev. Therefore, any use of this program without the consent of the Rambler Group is a violation of the exclusive right. It should be noted that programming was not part of my job responsibilities, but since there were time and traction, the first thing I did was adapt the patch to compress Apache responses. Then, I was asked to deal with the mod_proxy module. I looked at it and decided it was easier to write everything from scratch than to adapt to some things there.”