"Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday asked Microsoft Chairman 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, who is 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 Web site for Gorbachev's charitable foundation."Microsoft declined to intervene according to the NYT:
“Mr. Ponosov’s case is a criminal case and as such was initiated and investigated by the public prosecutor’s office in Russia,” said Microsoft, whose European operations are based in Paris. “We are sure that the Russian courts will make a fair decision.”
Update: John Pallatto - Sentenced to the Intellectual Property Gulag