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Russia, Bill Gates, Microsoft and piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Feb 2007 8:01 User comments (23)

Russia, Bill Gates, Microsoft and piracy Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has written an open letter to Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, urging him to intercede in Microsoft-brought litigation against a headteacher. Alexander Ponosov has been accused by Microsoft representatives in Russia of knowingly installing pirated versions of the Windows operating system on school computers, causing the company losses of up to $10,000.
"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 reads.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also criticized the prosecution of Ponosov, in Perm, east of Moscow. Because of its location, Gorbachev said that under Russian criminal law the teacher could face "imprisonment in Siberian camps". Ponosov denies the charges and said the software came pre-installed and he didn't know about it.

"It's ridiculous to just arrest a chap for using computers," President Putin said at a news conference on 1st February, where he urged Microsoft and investigators to "go after the distributors, not the users".

BBC News

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23 user comments

15.2.2007 8:22

Man thats heavy, for 10 grand!!! They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

25.2.2007 9:44

Gorbachev said that under Russian criminal law the teacher could face "imprisonment in Siberian (DEATH) camps" i corrected Mr. Gorbachev's comment for him :)

35.2.2007 10:17

a loss of 10,000?! whoa, thats a real dent in a company worth 200 some billion, who cares, and why not fine Gorbachev, just because he was a world leader, but if one of us would install a pirated copy, they wouldn't think twice of suing our pants off........I hate corporate America

45.2.2007 11:27

what a shame come on over 10 grand! How much did they make last year? who know but I doubt loosing 10 grand hurt them any.

55.2.2007 11:29

10,000 dollars is nothing to Microsoft, Bill Gates is the richest man in the WORLD!!!! So what if he can't pay for his new pair of diamond glasses Us Russians aren't pirates either

65.2.2007 13:36

@PocketQs: the article didn't make sense, but the guy facing Siberian (DEATH) camp is Alexander Ponosov. I don't know who Gorbachev is, i guess he's a friend of his. Since Gorby wants to help him out, he should advise Mr. Ponosov not to drop the soap! LOL *shudder* Siberian (DEATH) camps are not fun places :(

75.2.2007 15:01

Bill Gates makes like 200 billion a year! $10 grand is nothing for a company of that size. But for installing that many pirated OS he should have his hands broken so he can never enter a serial number again.

95.2.2007 15:23

It's ridiculous to just arrest a chap for using computers," President Putin said at a news conference on 1st February, where he urged Microsoft and investigators to "go after the distributors, not the users".
Is this not what we are all trying to tell Gates. And only to loose $10,000 and still be fussy is crazy :)

105.2.2007 17:17

The way i see it is that if they didn't have enough money to purchase legal copies to be installed so they had to install a pirated version they would have NEVER installed windows because they probobly didn't have the 10,000 to pay for the licenses in the first place! This is where it comes into is it really hurting M$ or not, would they have gotten the 10,000 if they didn't pirated windows? or would they have just not used windows or computers at all??!! Ya see watt i am getting @?

115.2.2007 19:38

xhardcore I was thinking the same thing ripxrus M$ isn't that smart. apparently they've never heard of linux (or mac). Their so busy with their heads up the piggy's [bank] butt that they can't think logically. I hate M$ and hope no one buys vista so they go bankrupt. if their so concered about profits, why don't they stop paying bill gates and their other CEOs so much. "Hi, we're microsoft. we pay our ceos in the billions of U$D. but, if you steal 1 of our os's we lose $10,000!" hm, looks like bill could learn something from torvalds. good doesn't have to cost.

125.2.2007 20:47

fixed error in article, when dealing with a lot of names at once, its easy to mix them up.

136.2.2007 4:17

Buffett has pledged to gradually give 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. A dominant five-sixths of the shares will go to the world's largest philanthropic organization, the $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose principals are close friends of Buffett's (a connection that began in 1991, when a mutual friend introduced Buffett and Bill Gates).

This is sickening…. I guess this money will go to helping poor countries get computers…
But Bill better get his G.D. credit for it…. and his tax write-off…. So if your country can’t afford the software, get in the begging line and Bill with eventually come around to have his picture taken with you at his mercy. Thanks Bill…you really care…
I'm not saying it's right to steal Op. Systems..but come on Bill..You are giving away billions to people who need the money. Think about it!

146.2.2007 5:06

and how can microsoft prove the copys where not already installed when he got the computers huh you cannot this case if full of holes

156.2.2007 8:53

I thought MS would have learned already that Russia is like china run by the underworld and not the "government".

167.2.2007 2:35

I've always wondered in cases like these... who's the whistle blower? I mean I know the O/S sort of reports home, but one would figure hackers would have secured that server check. When I first installed XP on the company's computers that I work for, I had piracy warnings stating that my copy of XP may not be genuine. Followed the prompts and the website verified the copies were OK and I had to enter the product key again, but that's the closest I've ever came. Anyway, does anyone know the answer?

177.2.2007 2:40

a disgruntled worker or student,plus MS can hack in countries that don't have anti hacking laws,altho over 10G MS has to be hurting.

189.2.2007 15:41

They should send bill gates to Siberia. I can picture him with his nerdy glasses getting the crap beaten out of him ...LOL.

1910.2.2007 2:01

Maybe I'm missing something here...but it seems to me that Microsoft have lost the plot. Russia is a developing country and if Ms expect to sell loads of their software to Russian customers then surely the best way in, is for the school children to be fully proficient with computers and operating systems. In this way they are far more likely to purchase a computer with Ms operating system when they leave school (or even have one bought for them by their parents whilst they are in school).

XP is old hat now, because Ms are hoping to con us into buying Vista, but Vista needs a powerful computer just to run the O/S. Do Russian schools have the latest PC's? I doubt it.

What Ms should have done is say "Hay guys, have some genuine O/S from us for free!" (it is a school after all) The kids would learn and become comfortable with Windows and hopefully become Microsoft's next generation of customers.

What they have actually done is say "We are greedy bastards and will do anything to get our pound of flesh"

If anyone from Apple is reading this...then surley this must be your way into an expanding market! Get the school kids used to your O/S and then watch Ms squirm.

2010.2.2007 15:10

Originally posted by chargerV8:

If anyone from Apple is reading this....
Or Linus Torvalds

2112.2.2007 12:27

I'm with chargerV8.
I thought the whole M$ philosophy was to get the world dependent on their O/S so they can continue to $ell eye candy, resource hogging, upgrades to consumers who are unfamiliar with, therefore unwilling to switch to, any other O/S. It makes sense to start 'em young, (just ask the tobacco industry). The future revenue will come from M$' planned obsolescence business model. You'll have to purchase an upgrade eventually since support for previous versions will discontinue.

2228.4.2007 11:10

all you people who make fun of russia go fuck yourself

2328.4.2007 12:16

Originally posted by lildan:
all you people who make fun of russia go fuck yourself
Russia has problems with the black market and its goverment is regressing into fou demockercy with the goverment stifling freedom of speech, it will only be matter of time before the goverment implode on it self and goes back into some form of full communism....altho as logn as the majority of the populace is happy I guess it dosent matter much...

BTW the US is corrupt but on a different scale the elite here have hobbies as politicians :X

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