Case Against Russian Educator Dismissed

Thursday, 2007-February-15 at 23:24

Information Architecture > Service Oriented Architectures > Russian court throws out Microsoft piracy case
In case you are not aware of it, a school teacher or principal was arrested and charged with installing unlicensed software on 12 school computers in Russia. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev appealled to Bill Gates and Microsoft to drop the case, but Microsoft said (truthfully) that they do not bring criminal cases–only the government can do that. Russian leader Vladimir Putin was also unhappy about this situation. Schools in that region have decided to switch to Linux to avoid similar prosecutions in the future.

The case has been dismissed. Prosecutors can appeal the dismissal, so it isn’t quite over, but if it holds, it is good news to all concerned.

  • The educator: Whether he intentionally used unlicensed software we may never know, but I cannot see him doing it again.
  • Russian schools: They are now considering and looking at Free / Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), where they wouldn’t before. They will soon find that the software is different, but that they can accomplish anything that could have been accomplished with well-known software, without the high price.
  • Microsoft: This could have become a serious black eye in the world education market. Now, schools will not be afraid to purchase Windows and Office for fear that a dealer’s attempt to cut corners could cause school officials to face prison.
  • Gorbachev: He comes out as an advocate for the little guy.
  • Putin: This could have been a real embarassment to him. Dismissing the case will prevent it from blowing up in his face.
  • Native-Russian Linux distributions and Russian versions of OpenOffice.org or KOffice or AbiWord: More users, official recognition, and the preference of the students to want something at home that is similar to what they use at school.

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