Some weird news from the port city of Ventspils. It seems that the Economic Police and the Business Software Alliance staged a raid on iLink, a company that says it hosts mission critical applications for some cargo-handling and transit companies in the port.
Reports conflict - the police say they found both evidence of illegal software and music and ringtones for which no licences were immediatly available. The company says that it had no illegal software and that the police overreacted to the music, which iLink employees may have copied from legal CDs. Howver, the authorities apparently interpreted the law, which allows making a backup copy, as being limited to a copy on the same medium(a CD), not an Mp3 file.
Whatever happened, iLink officials, some of whom were dragged off to the Ventspils police headquarters and detained, said the police hauled off most of the company's servers and other equipment, crippling the ability of several major transit companies to run their IT systems. In other words, these enterprises will have to revert to using abacuses, as they did during the Soviet era (although iLink dates back to some kind of Soviet agency started in 1979).
According to other reports, there were no signs as yet of scores of Soviet-time abacuses being recovered from attics and taken down to the docks by the managers responsible for recording incoming and outgoing cargos.
Some sources say that the BSA and police raid is part of a continuing conflict between different factions behind most of the Ventspils transit companies, with Ventpils mayor Aivars Lembergs on one side of the rift and other shareholders opposing him. In other words, Lembergs' people allegedly incited or influenced the raid on iLink.
The worrisome thing is whether the police did seize what may have been legitimate ripped Mp3 music along with the servers in Ventspils and will now have a precedent for snatching iPods and the like. As someone once said: "Does anyone seriously believe a person will buy a USD 300 iPod in order to put USD 15 000 of songs (the 15 000 songs at iTunes USD 0.99 apiece)?