Rambler Group claimed a violation of its exclusive copyright on the Nginx web server, which was developed by a former employee of the company Igor Sysoev.
Nginx is one of the most successful IT companies created by Russian programmers. Its main product is software, which is necessary for the operation of sites on the Internet. Now about 33% of all sites in the world are running on the Nginx server. For example, it is used by corporations such as Netflix, Dropbox, Yandex and, by the way, Rambler itself.
Igor Sysoev created the Nginx web server in 2002, while still working at Rambler. Initially, the software was distributed free of charge under an open source license. In 2011, Sysoev quit his job and, together with his partner Maxim Konovalov, founded the company Nginx Inc.
In the spring of 2019, the American company F5 Networks bought Nginx for $670 million.
On December 12, the conflict began between Rambler Group and Nginx. Rambler Group has claimed its development rights: the Internet holding company believes that Nginx is an official work of its former employee and using the program without the consent of Rambler Group violates exclusive rights.
Law enforcement agencies got involved in the case: a criminal case was opened, searches were conducted at the Nginx office in Moscow, at Sysoyev and another Nginx co-founder houses.
Igor Sysoev in 2012 in an interview with the Hacker magazine stressed that he worked on Nginx in his spare time. He added that according to Russian law, the company owns what has been done as part of labor duties or under a separate contract.
Yandex called the conflict between Rambler and Nginx a bad signal for the community of programmers.
“We are absolutely convinced that all technology companies should support and develop open source”, said Grigory Bakunov, Yandex’s technology distribution director.
Mail.ru Group also advocated the development of an open source culture and support for people who invest time and effort in this area.