Following the high level political appeals from Russian officials to Microsoft about how ridiculous it was that a Russian school head teacher faced Siberian imprisonment because the computers he bought for his students had pirated copies of Windows pre-installed, it appears that the Russian courts have agreed. They've thrown out the case, saying that it was "trivial." Prosecutors could still appeal -- but with so many people against them hopefully they decide it's not worth it. In the meantime, all the publicity still has Russian schools thinking about alternatives to proprietary software. It's beginning to sound like this whole case was something of a charade. The US has been putting pressure on Russia to "crack down" on intellectual property violations, saying how they won't let Russia into the WTO unless they do things like shut down Allofmp3.com. It appears that a case like this probably initially seemed like a good idea, where Russian officials could point to an example of them "cracking down" on intellectual property violations. Then the details became clear and everyone realized they were sending a school teacher who was just trying to educate his students to prison.
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