Free Software for Free speech?

Yesterday was "russian evening" on the French/german alternative TV Channel "Arte". Scary things they told about the state of russia, freedom of speech for the press and the political opposition...

Most notable information for free software people was this one: The Editor in chief of Novaya Gazeta, said to be the last independent Newspaper, told an interesting story about how nonconform journalists are covered with lawsuits until they cannot move anymore - for example with things like sueing them for copyright fraud - because they use MS Office copies, like probably anyone in russia.

It shows two important things:
  • It's no childs game to use copyrighted software, even in small and private environments, just because you cannot afford the commercial stuff. The de facto standard is, that these things are widely happening, but not cared about, because the big commercial software producers actually _benefit_ from their stuff being adopted all over the world, and everybody knows how to use them (even if learned with illegal copies). Still, if authorities, and companies change their mind the next morning, they could criminalize a whole lot of the population...
  • We need to send Linux CD's over to russia! No journalist is really forced to use MS Windows!