Teacher faces penalty for pirating Windows, Office

Moscow (Russia) - A case against a Russian school teacher for pirating Microsoft software ended up costing him half his monthly salary, despite vocal objections from Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Alexander Ponosov installed pirated versions of Microsoft Windows and Office on 12 computers in the Moscow school. He was subsequently sued and then ordered to pay a 5000 rouble ($195) fine.

The move is likely more driven by the country in an attempt to show the rest of the world that it is cracking down on these kinds of cases. Russia is trying to prove itself as an acceptable candidate to enter the World Trade Organization, and piracy has been one major reason for its rejection over the past decades.

Reuters quoted Russian president Vladimir Putin as calling the case "utter nonsense". The infamous former president Mikhail Gorbachev also stepped in and even asked Bill Gates to come in on the side of the teacher.

Microsoft, which said the government was the one who initiated the lawsuit, responded with a quick statement that reads, "Our interest is not in prosecuting schools or teachers, it is in helping students develop the technology skills they need in the 21st century."