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Chronicle of Rambler Group and Nginx confrontation (updated on 23 Dec, 12 p.m.)

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Original author: Habr

On December 12, it became known from Nginx's employee Twitter that the company's office was searched due to the criminal case under Article 146 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation 'Violation of Author's and Neighboring Rights'. The claim belong to Rambler Group was, although formally the complaintant is Lynwood Investments CY Ltd, to which the rights were transferred. The last-mentioned is related to the co-owner of Rambler Group, Alexander Mamut.

The point of the claim: Igor started working on Nginx as an employee of Rambler and only after the tool became popular he founded a separate company and attracted investments.

Here is how the events unfolded.

Nginx is a web and mail proxy server running on Unix-like operating systems (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, AIX and HP-UX) and Windows.

Igor Sysoyev began development in 2002. The first public release was in 2004. Since July 2011, work on nginx has continued within Nginx company. In 2019, F5 Networks acquired Nginx.

12 December

  • The founders of Nginx — Sysoev and Konovalov — are apprehended, and the Moscow office of the company is being searched. IT Summa wrote about it in its blog.
  • Later at the end of the day, both entrepreneurs are released from the police, but have their phones confiscated.
  • Ashmanov, who was the COO of Rambler at the beginning of the 00s, speaks in favour of Sysoyev.

13 December

  • Yandex speaks in support of Ngnix. Grigory Bakunov (bobuk) releases the opinion called 'Open source makes us who we are'.
  • Oleg Bunin publishes a post with the official position of the Highload++ and other conferences' Program Committees. More than 60 people from different organizations sign up to his words.
  • 'Odnoklassniki' perform briefly — with hashtag #weareforOpenSource.
  • VK supports Nginx and puts 'Powered by Nginx' label on all the vk.com pages. The pop-up message says open source technologies should be free.
  • German Gref insists on an extraordinary meeting of Rambler's Board of Directors to discuss the situation with Nginx.
  • MTS also supports open source.
  • podivilov on Habr suggests a half-hour blackout in support of Igor Sysoyev and Nginx. The action is scheduled for December 15.
  • It turns out that Nginx is more expensive than Rambler.
  • Okko team, which recently became one of Rambler's assets, declares that it 'fully supports open source software and acts on the side of the IT community in the situation with Igor Sysoyev'.
  • Ozon also supports open source culture.

December 14

  • As a sign of solidarity with Nginx the ReactOS Foundation releases the statement 'Atlas Shrugged, or the wrong turn'.

December 15

  • At 12:00 a.m. (Moscow time) blackout in support of Nginx takes place. Dozens of sites participate in it.
  • The current owner of Nginx — F5 Networks — sends out emails to its clients informing them about the situation with Nginx.
  • There is new evidence that Rambler has nothing to do with Nginx. Sergey Vasiliev, who was the first chairman of the board of directors of Rambler Internet Holding from 1999 to 2004, wrote in his Facebook he can responsibly say that Rambler has nothing to do with Nginx.

16 December

  • Not that relevant, but still: Rambler wants to block Twitch.
  • The Kremlin refused to comment on the situation of Rambler Group and Nginx. But Dmitry Peskov, the President's press secretary, is sure the situation with Nginx will not affect the business climate in Russia.
  • More on Rambler: the Rambler trial demands the Premier League broadcast be blocked on Russian Match TV, but they are not there anyway.
  • Rambler's management wants to stop the criminal case against Nginx.

17 December

  • The results of Nginx Blackout on 15 December: about 29,000 views of the page supporting Sysoyev and Nginx.
  • Former Rambler Group's employees composed an open letter to support Nginx.
  • ROSKOMNADZOR claims Match TV and Twitch both deleted illegal content after the Rambler's lawsuit.
  • Rambler starts the rescission of the contract with Lynwood after the lawsuit to Nginx.

18 December

  • Lawyers on Rambler's request to stop the criminal case against Nginx: criminal cases are difficult to close, Rambler also may face charges on false denunciation.
  • Twitch reports Rambler Group has withdrawn the lawsuit on illegal broadcasts.

23 December

  • The head of Sberbank has met with Igor Sysoev and hopes the conflict between Rambler and Nginx will be resolved before the trial.
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