Gorbachev Asks Bill Gates To Save Russian Teacher From Siberia After Students Use Unauthorized Copies Of Windows

from the and-what-would-you-do? dept

Just days after having to stand idly by while the Romanian president talked up how unauthorized copies of Microsoft software helped build that country’s IT industry, Bill Gates has another critical issue to decide concerning such “piracy.” Over in Russia, Microsoft has apparently been pressing charges against a Russian school headteacher, Alexander Ponosov, who Microsoft accuses of running “pirated” software on school computers. According to current Russian law, if Ponosov is found guilty, he can be shipped off to Siberian prison camps — just for helping some students get a leg up in learning to use one of the most commonly used pieces of software out there. Even worse, Ponosov says the computers came with the Microsoft software pre-loaded, so he had no idea they were unauthorized copies. Even former Soviet boss Mikhail Gorbachev is now begging Microsoft to drop the lawsuit. Apparently, current Russian leader Vladimir Putin has also asked that Microsoft reconsider. Of course, it’s not entirely clear why Russian politicians don’t change the law — but it seems likely that it has something to do with the US government demanding stricter “intellectual property protections” to allow Russia into the WTO. Update: Microsoft has responded to the plea, saying they don’t plan on changing a thing, and expect the lawsuit to continue.


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Comments on “Gorbachev Asks Bill Gates To Save Russian Teacher From Siberia After Students Use Unauthorized Copies Of Windows”

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19 Comments
misanthropic humanist says:

One day in the life of a software pirate

LOL, well I guess it’s eating magots and drinking melted snow for him. That will teach the counter-revolutionary scumbag! Cmon, nobody goes to Siberian prison camps Alexander Solzhenitsyn style since the Union fell apart. At least in Russia they still need a reason to send you there 🙂 troll, troll troll!

Whirler says:

Hello Idjets

Pointless effort!

Find out where the systems came from and back track to get the clowns who are pre-loading the pirate’d OS! Hello, what happened to the famous Russian intel of yester-year? I am sure MS would love to go after the “real” criminals here. Clearly going after the wrong guy, a teacher C’mon!!! Either the facts are not straight or someone needs to pass that pipe!

E, S & L says:

Thank you

Dear Bill, we’ve been having trouble lately. People are starting to question our “Don’t be evil” PR gimmick. Helping censorship in China and our heavy handed political manipulations in the US to get special tax breaks are making our facade crack.

We’d like to thank you for prosecuting school teachers in Russia. Since the teacher is actually a victim in this case and not the perpetrator of the crime, you really look bad. Thanks for diverting attention from us.

Yours in internet duopoly,
E, S & L

Cixelsid says:

Re: by The Swiss Cheese Monster

Was he given a chance to correct the problem? If not, then set him free. But if he refused to comply with the law – then maybe some discipline needs to be handed out.

Yes that’s right, some discipline needs to be handed out, send the lazy cuntfuck to Siberia, that’ll teach him to pirate an OS so he can educate his students.

Haha, teach the teacher. That’s funny.

I hope this teaches us that we should keep a handy copy of Ubuntu nearby and to hand microsoft a resounding fuck you when next we decide to buy an O.S.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Did he know?

The law should be analogous to the laws regarding recieving stolen goods, in that if you acted in good faith, and were unaware that there was any irregularity in the producst, then you are fine, but if you knew the goods were dodgy, then you have broken the law. While the idea of counting trees just for using pirated XP. The beeb puts the figure 0f 266 000 Roubles as M$’s losses, whereas the Trib says that that is what the fine he faces is. I would like to see a breakdown of what was on these computers that, paying full prices, he could have spent $10 000 on. Of course, if Putin cares, and the press officers don’t forget (a week is a long time in politics), the instant he gets scentenced, Putin can sign a full pardon. If he doesn’t have that right, then there is always an enabling act, and thepublic outcry there must be large for Putin and Gorbachev to have (now that?) made such a fuss, so a change in teh law would probably be welcomed.

Maybe over the whole copyright law issue, Russia should just vote against the USA in the Security Council until America shuts up and leaves them alone.

Dow says:

Re: Did he know?

hmmm.. the USA is not filing this lawsuit, the one filing the lawsuit is MICRSOFT so voting against the USA in the Security Council would do nothing except ripping a hole in the peace between Russia and USA. not that Russia is even a threat anymore. in fact its the oposite. though they are showing signs of reverting back to communism, back on topic, Microsoft is a money whore.

Enrico Suarve says:

I smell a rat

Gorbachev is a consumate politician and as such I respect him greatly but this sounds more like grandstanding for Russia to set precedents to me

The teacher is from an area of russia that include Siberia so if he is being sent to prison its not unusual he would be sent there – end of that sensationalism

Russian law is what is stating he should go to prison not Microsoft, if it is wrong that a person should go to prison for such a crime it is Russian law which should change. Again if the ‘camps’ are that bad that they are embarassing Russia, the Russian prison system should change

Microsoft did not bring the charges (even the teacher states this) Russian prosecutors did

I don’t like the idea of the guy going to prison either and if the Russian courts have any sense of justice he should not based on the evidence so far presented, but basically this sounds to me like hyped up sensationalised attention grabbing from our Russian friends, to gain precedents and concessions in what they see as unfair treatment at the hands of the WTO and in recent allofmp3 developments

I think they’ve been watching too many American politicians ‘saving the kids’ and picked the wrong example for how to engage in this type of dispute

They need to call off their dogs and return to the table – the WTO is crappy but “sign here or the teacher gets it” is no way to go about changing it

Nobody Special says:

theater lives on

The guy is being prosecuted as part of the theater Russia has decided to engage in to help their bid to join the WTO. And who better to play to then M$?

The reason something was written to Gates is that if he publicly said something then it would go remove the incentive to use this man as their puppet. Keep in mind that M$, RIAA, and MPAA are probably the loudest in shouting for something to be done about the money they supposedly are not making.

angry dude says:

Sad indeed…

Some small fry is prosecuted for IP violation, while the big guys, including Mr. Gates himself, get away with stealing other people’s IP every day.
This is the world we live in…

Too bad that willfull stealing of patented inventions from small inventors is not a criminal offense in US:
I would love to see some of those MS execs in jail…

jc says:

M$ and Gates vs. China

Remember when Bill was crying China wasn’t doing enough to stop software piracy?

So China rounded up some low level criminals that were selling pirated copied of Windows and executed them?

Few weeks later, here’s Bill again, saying China wasn’t doing enough to stop software piracy.

At what point does this guy ever go, “Oh, geez. Maybe I’m over reacting.”

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