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Russia drops piracy case against teacher

Evan Blass

Remember that Russian schoolteacher from a few days back, the one charged with piracy, and the one for whom Bill Gates and Microsoft declined to intervene? Well it turns out that Alexander Ponosov didn't need any help from Gates -- or Mikael Gorbachev, for that matter -- as the Perm-based court tasked with trying the case has dismissed all charges and labeled the incident as "trivial." As you probably recall, Ponosov is the teacher / principal of a small, 380-student school in the Urals village of Sepych which purchased 12 computers that Ponosov claimed had already been pre-loaded with pirated copies of Microsoft software. Amusingly, in its public rebuff of Gorbachev's request, Redmond argued that it was "sure that the Russian courts will make a fair decision" because of the "government's position on the importance of protecting intellectual property rights" -- and although most observers would probably agree that this is the fairest outcome, we doubt it's the one that Microsoft had in mind. When informed of the court's decision, Ponosov stated that "of course, it was trivial," and went on to inform the press that "we're off to drink champagne now" -- and with all that money he saved on software, there's definitely gonna be some Cristal in the house tonight.

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