Russian teacher fined in Microsoft piracy case

Posted by bink on May 7 2007, 6:11 PM. Posted in Piracy.

A Russian headmaster said on Monday a court has fined him half his monthly wage for using pirated copies of Microsoft software at his school in a case President Vladimir Putin has called "utter nonsense."

Prosecutors said Alexander Ponosov had violated Microsoft's property rights by allowing pupils to use 12 computers with unlicensed copies of Microsoft Windows and Office software.

Ponosov, a headmaster in a remote school in the Perm region of the Ural mountains, said he did not know the computers had fake licenses when they were delivered by a sub-contractor.

Russia has been urged to crack down on the widespread availability of cheap pirated software, films and music as it prepares to enter the World Trade Organization.

Illegal copies of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system are on sale for about $6 at Moscow markets.

Russian state television has portrayed Alexander Ponosov as a hero in a David-and-Goliath battle against the legal system and international corporations.

"Today the court brought in a guilty verdict - they ordered me to pay a fine of 5,000 roubles ($194.4)," Ponosov told Reuters by telephone from the Perm region.

"I consider myself not guilty and I will file an appeal," he said, adding that he had not paid the fine. He said he earned about 10,000 roubles a month. Continue At Source