I see on the BBC site that the Russian high court has ordered a retrial of a case against a rural head teacher accused of using pirated Microsoft software in his school (it was found on the schools 12 pcs). This is despite the lower court dismissing the case as “trivial”., and even Russian president Vladimir Putin saying that the manufacturers of pirate goods – and not consumers – should be targeted and the trial was “utter nonsense”.
What I find interesting here is how Microsoft, unlike the RIAA in the music field, knows how to weigh up the positives and negatives of these situations and knows when to stand back. In this case, it choose not to bring a civil action and has been at pains to say it has nothing to do with any charges levelled at Alexander Ponosov. Part of this, I believe, is because Microsoft does not want to be portrayed as a company that would go after a school teacher and his children. This may come from Bill Gates, as his and Melinda’s foundation works to provide children with opportunities for quality early learning and educational opportunities. I think Bill would see 12 rogue copies of his operating system v 400 children as a pill worth swallowing. Also – and I have no idea if Microsoft has done this – but if they don’t have any problem with Mr Ponosov, give him replacement legit copies gratis.
The RIAA on the other hand still think the best way to deal with online file sharing is to subpoena a ten year old girl, Kyless Andersen, to try and get her to say her mom is an illegal file sharer. Obviously, those of a cynical nature might think that the RIAA was trying to use the threat of putting her daughter through this experience as a way of getting Andersen to settle – as the RIAA has a habit of capituating against people that actually try and make them go the trial and present evidence. Nah, of course not … “Plaintiffs take exception to Defendant’s suggestion that taking Kyless Andersen’s deposition is an attempt to ‘threaten (Defendant) and abuse the child.”