Last week, Russian police raided NGINX’s Moscow office and seized equipment, and two founders and authors of Nginx software, Maxim Konovalov and Igor Sysoev, were arrested, detained and interrogated. The reason is that internet giant Rambler Group claims ownership of the Nginx code because the software was developed by Igor Sysoev while working for the company.
Konovalov told the media that Rambler’s actions were illegal. Rambler did not contact them at all prior to the search and did not attempt to negotiate or notify them.
Konovalov called the police’s actions “professional and polite” if you exclude the fact that agents stand around with automatic guns. Overall, he said, the police interrogation was not pleasant.
He described the move as a blackmail by Rambler’s leadership, inspired by the recent $670 million acquisition of NGINX by Us technology company F5 Networks.
Konovalov and Sysoev weren’t sure what criminal charges they had received, and Rambler had just dropped the criminal case to the court and turned to civil action. Criminal charges are clearly an excuse for conducting a search.