Role of Microsoft Corporation in the Criminal Case against Anastasia Denisova
We are often asked about the role of Miscrosoft Corporation in this criminal case. If it does take part in this case, then how and on what grounds? In this short text we would like to answer these questions and provide readers with documents, produced at investigation and pre-hearings.
- General overview
- Initiation of criminal charges
- Unclear powers of the representative of the rightholder
- Overestimation of Microsoft software prices
- Intention to bring a civil action
- Collaboration with expert institution of doubtful reputation
- Absence of corporation reaction to the appeals of international and Russian non-governmental organizations
The produced documents allow to state that the representative of the rightholder (Corporation Microsoft) in South Federal District of the Russian Federation is Mr. Vladimir Ivut'.
Initiation of criminal charges
There is a written statement (RU) on behalf of Legal Firm “SPEKTR” that contains no date and addresses the Head of Internal Affairs Department of Krasnodar. It is stated that, “according to incoming information”, non-licensed computer software is used in Krasnodar regional non-profit organization “ETHnICS” situated at Lenina, 4, which violates the intellectual property legislation of Russia. At the same time, according to the investigator's written notification (RU) of the prosecutor, the criminal charges against Anastasia Denisova were brought on Mr. Vladimir Ivut's written statement to the police. At this time without an official statement from Miscrosoft Corporation it is hard to identify for sure who really became the initiator of the criminal charges and provided the police with anomalous data (Krasnodar regional non-profit organization “ETHnICS” was not situated at Lenina, 4 and the seized computers did not belong to it).
Unclear powers of the representative of the rightholder
On the letterhead (RU) of “RESPECT” LLC it is written that “Microsoft Corporation is represented by “RESPECT” LLC, acting by director Mr. Ivut' by power of attorney, in cases connected with the protection of intellectual rights belonging to the corporation in South Federal district of Russia”. There is, in fact, power of attorney (RU: page 1, page 2) given to Mr. Ivut' as a natural person by Mr. Strakh. Mr. Strakh, in his turn, obtained the right to grant powers (RU/ENG) to third persons from the Secretary of Microsoft Corporation in the USA. No legal documents are included into the criminal case that confirm that “RESPECT” LLC as a juridical body is in power to represent the rightholder. At present time it is impossible to affirm or deny the statement on the letterhead of “RESPECT” LLC signed by Mr. Ivut' and repeated numerously in other documents.
Overestimation of Microsoft software prices
When the results of preliminary technical examination were obtained, the police agents forwarded to “RESPECT” LLC director a request to estimate the amount of damage. Mr. Ivut' as the director of “RESPECT” LLC produced a written estimation (RU) of software prices without mentioning on the basis of what data this estimation was done. This estimation gave the grounds for criminal charges. If the prices of “RESPECT” LLC are compared with the price lists of two official dealers of Microsoft Corporation in Krasnodar, it becomes obvious that the total cost of software is overestimated from 24% to 40%.
Intention to bring a civil action
During the questioning (RU: page 1, page 2, page 3) as the aggrieved party Mr. Ivut' officially asks to recognize him as the representative of the aggrieved party in the case, including Microsoft Corporation. At his questioning Mr. Ivut' as well states that “civil action is going to be brought during the court trial”.
Collaboration with expert institution of doubtful reputation
In a number of criminal cases Mr. Vladimir Ivut' acts along with Interregional non-governmental organization “SOYUZ KRIMINALISTOV” (“Union of Criminalists”). Mr. Ivut' as a claimant and the director of “SOYUZ KRIMINALISTOV” Mr. Pleten' as an expert act together in cases against health resort “Magadan”, Krasnodar regional non-profit charity organization of law enforcement agency disabled workers “Iskra”, Bryukhovetskiy grain elevator, “Negoziant” company, non-profit organization “ETHnICS”.
The reputation, about which the organization “SOYUZ KRIMINALISTOV” is obviously careless, you can study here (RU). Technical computer expert advice produced by this organization is widely discussed on the Internet, especially their doubtful methodology and conclusions. The common technique of expertise is the search of program keys on the Internet. In the criminal case against Anastasia Denisova such a technique (RU) allowed to label as “non-licensed” the trial version of Windows Server 2003, downloaded from Miscosoft official website. The expert from “SOUYZ KRIMINALISTOV” called “non-licensed” a pre-installed Windows Vista as well and proved it with the picture of a certificate of authenticity (sticker) on the bottom of the seized laptop, thus contradicting himself.
The criminal case against Denisova provoked a backlash because of the obvious political character of persecution, that is no wonder even to the members of Presidential Council on Human rights and Civil Institutions, who came with an urgent visit to Krasnodar (RU) in March 2010. In this case the representative of Microsoft Corporation has an active role – the scripts of court pre-hearings, where the representative takes part, you can see here (RU).
Absence of corporation reaction to appeals of international and Russian non-governmental organizations
At the beginning of March 2010 a number or widely-known Russian and international non-governmental institutions sent appeals to the headquarters of Microsoft in the USA.
Joint appeal (ENG) of Moscow Helsinki Group, Center for the Development of Human Rights and Democracy, International Youth Human Rights Movement, Committee “Civil Assistance” and others. Page 1, page 2.
Open appeal (ENG) on behalf of Human Rights Center “Memorial” and Transparency International – Russia. Page 1, page 2.
At the present moment we know nothing about any kind of reaction from Microsoft Corporation authorities.