INTELLECT Prevents Software Piracy Indictment

The conviction would have carried up to six years in prison and up to RUB500,000 in fines (Article 146(3)(г) of the Russian Penal Code).

INTELLECT successfully defended the CEO of an IT company about to be indicted for being inadvertently in possession and allegedly using unlicensed software.

A police search found unlicensed copies of the software installed on three computers of the OOO Inform which used to distribute the software for its developer, 1C.

Besides the heavy punishment, an indictment like that would have left an indelible stain on the firm's reputation. The CEO retained INTELLECT to rescue both herself and the firm from prosecution.

Our comment:

INTELLECT’s partner Dmitry Zagainov quickly assessed the situation and motioned for termination of the criminal proceedings on three grounds.

  • First, OOO Inform's prior history as 1C's distributor and after-sale customer service provider — supported by appropriate dealership and end user support agreements — explained the presence of the software (the "possession"). 
  • Secondly, it was forensically demonstrated that Inform had never used the installed software for its intended purpose: the installed programs' databases were empty and had never contained any data. 
  •  Thirdly, the firm's CEO was new in office and could not possible be held responsible for any "legacy" software installed under her predecessor who had quit several months before.

The skilful defense prevented indictment, although the probe continued another three month, ultimately resulting in dropped charges.

Police Checking, White Collar Crime Cases

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