Beerman Posted February 5, 2007 Report Share Posted February 5, 2007 Reuters story MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday asked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to intercede on behalf of a Russian teacher accused of using pirated software in his classroom. In an open letter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Gorbachev said the teacher, Alexander Ponosov, from a remote village in the Urals, should be shown mercy because he did not know he was committing a crime. "A teacher, who has dedicated his life to the education of children and who receives a modest salary that does not bear comparison with the salaries of even regular staff in your company, is threatened with detention in Siberian prison camps," read the letter, posted on the Internet site of Gorbachev's charitable foundation www.gorby.ru. "We have great respect for the work of Microsoft's programmers ... and are in no way casting doubt on the principle of punishment for intellectual property violations. "However, in this case we ask you to show mercy and withdraw your complaint against Alexander Ponosov," the letter read. "This noble step will be enthusiastically received by all those in Russia who use Microsoft products." Prosecutors accuse Ponosov, headmaster of a middle school in the Perm region, of violating Microsoft's intellectual property rules by using computers in his school that contained unlicensed copies of the firm's software. Russia has been mounting a high-profile crackdown on piracy as part of its efforts to join the World Trade Organization. © Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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