BBC4 made a really interesting documentary about the creation of the computer game Tetris in Russia, the legal battles over the rights and the fate of the programmer who created the game. What's also interesting is the commentary by the Russian who was in charge of negotiating the fees and licenses, the troubles that this caused him and the risks he took, when Russia was still the Soviet Union. As the Maxwell Corporation and Atari battled it out with Nintendo for the rights, the bullying threats made by Robert Maxwell who had links straight to the Soviet government, must have been really frightening. Then there is the Hungarian middleman who never pays the Russians for the license he had, and then gets shafted himself. The Russians come over as quite shrewd negotiators, though this is nothing new.
The programmer himself has moved with his family to America. In one of the saddest parts of the film, he says that when his wife came back from her first trip to America, she couldn't explain what she had seen, she just cried. Yet he clearly misses Russia and his previous work and it seems like he would like to go back.
BBC4's material on the programme is here. The documentary itself was broadcast in February 2004, but a copy has been put on Google Video. It's quite long (almost an hour), compared with the usual 5mins on Youtube, but well worth it.
Thanks to Lukira for pointing it out.