Rambler accuses Nginx developer Igor Sysoev of "stealing" open-source Nginx from them.

For uninitiated, Nginx was originally developed by Igor Sysoev while he worked for Rambler. The contest dates back to 2004 and Rambler believes that Nginx _belongs_ to them since Igor worked on it during his work in Rambler.

Some people suggest that sudden "revisit" of a case from 2004 is somehow linked to FSB.

It goes like this:
Ramblers side claims what I already mentioned: Nginx belongs to them because Sysoev worked in Rambler when he created Nginx.

Sysoev's side, on the other hand, claims that according to Russian Law, something could belong to a company only and only if it was done on specific request under employment contract or commisioned as a direct contracted work. Neither of those are the case here, according to Igor, so he insists he should retain the rights to software.

Igor also adds that Nginx was licensed as BSD from the very start and Rambler wasn't even the first ones to adopt it.

Nginx is developed under Nginx Foundation, a company founded by Igor and staffed by a few others that makes profit by providing paid tech support to corporate clients, allowing Igor to full-time Nginx while also maintaining it's status as completely free and open source software.


If you admin a Mastodon \ Pleroma \ Misskey \ Peertube \ Funkwhale \ whatever, chances are, you are using Nginx as your main web-server.

Currently, it is free and open-source.

If Rambler is to claim Nginx as their product, there's no telling what might happen to it's legal status as free software, and, as a consequence, no telling if using it "for free" will be a viable option any longer.


Spread the message. Draw attention. Currently, news are making rounds in Russian internet sphere, but for a project of this size this is NOT enough.

Considering the toxic legal environment in Russia, any kind of attention might draw in much needed support.

For further information, this happened right after Sberbank, one of biggest Russian banks (and the one most supported by govt. and used as primary financial bank for social stuff), bought 49% of Rambler.

Rambler also claims that it suffered losses of 51,4 mil Rubles (~818,288 USD) because of "unassessable number of people using software illegaly".

Write to FSF. Notify your local FOSS community leaders.

This might pose an existential threat to Nginx as a result, but not just to it's status as free software: People USING nginx might be liable to pay damages for "illegal use".

As this question was brought up before: Forks might be liable too since under Rambler's claim, code was theirs entirely from the day one and any license applied is done so without their consent.

It's NOT about who bought what first and now salty. It's Pied Piper vs Hooli from "Silicon Valley".

Some users suggested AGAINST writing to FSF as FSF has only so many people staffed and I imagine several people sent their emails already, as did I.

In the interest of people working in FSF, please refreain from sending emails. I know I did, I think a few is right about enough.

(kinda ironic how I write this from Outlook to motherfucking FSF but I'm working on it, I promise.)

@Deiru the guy will almost certainly try and get the license changed on nginx. If this effort fails we can all say goodbye to what could be considered one of the best open source servers out there

@namwen The problem is not in the license. Rambler belives it's their IP, therefore any licensing done is also illegal, since it's not a "rightful owner" that installed the license.

@Deiru oh god, that's even worse. Are the FSF aware of this?

@namwen I feel like the main battle is going to happen in court, with Nginx using the claim I already mentioned to try and prove that it doesn't belong to Rambler.

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