Russian developers may be denied access to open source software

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Russian software, which is developed on the basis of open source, may partially stop working due to the technological sanctions of the United States of America against the Russian Federation due to restrictions from its foreign developers, Kommersant reports.

Open source software differs from proprietary (private, proprietary) software in that it does not belong to a specific company and is publicly available to all developers. Based on it, a specialist can write his own program, but subject to the rules of the license agreement. In particular, the developer has the right to modify the source code and use it for his own purposes, and the creator of Open Source can describe in which cases he has the right to deprive the user of support for his solution.

Developers are already writing on the social network Twitter that their source codes for Russian users will be blocked. The creator of GitHub, an international web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development, Forian Roth wrote that open source applications can be blocked for users from Russia. Other foreign software developers also write about this.

According to lawyers, the use of open source code cannot be considered a guarantee against blocking. Due to the terms of licensing agreements, including a ban on working with open source to countries under sanctions, existing programs based on such solutions may be left without support, lawyers confirm.

The Ministry of Finance informed the source that they consider it unlikely that the restriction of software that has open source code is unlikely. In early February, the agency submitted a draft government decree regulating the conduct of an experiment on the disclosure of free software developed by the state. It implies the creation of a national open source repository (analogous to GitHub) by December of this year. The Russian Information Technology Development Fund will act as the operator of the system.

The Ministry of Economic Development considers the creation of a Russian code repository one of the “key measures to ensure conditions for the creation of open AI libraries” as part of the implementation of the national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence until 2030 (approved by the President of the Russian Federation in October 2019).

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