Gorbachev to Gates: Show Software ‘Pirate’ Mercy (CNN)

“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 Gorbachevs charitable foundation www.gorby.ru.” …
“We have great respect for the work of Microsofts 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.

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