- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2007

MOSCOW (AP)- A court yesterday found the principal of a village school guilty of using bootlegged Microsoft software and ordered him to pay a fine of about $195 in a case that was cast by the Russian press as a battle between a humble educator and an international corporation.

The trial of Alexander Ponosov, who was charged with violating intellectual property rights by using classroom computers with pirated versions of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software installed, has attracted wide attention.

Russian officials frequently accuse foreign governments of meddling in Russia’s internal affairs, and Russian press reports have portrayed the case as that of a Western corporation bringing its power to bear on one man in this case, a principal who also teaches history and earns $360 a month.

Microsoft Corp., however, has said repeatedly it has nothing to do with the charges, which were brought by Russian prosecutors in the Ural Mountains region where Ponosov’s school is located.

The case “was initiated by Russian authorities under Russian law.”

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