Skip to main content

Russian teacher wins software licensing case

The trial judge labelled the case 'trivial' and threw it out of court

A software piracy case against a Russian school teacher has been dismissed at court. Headteacher Alexander Ponosov was accused of using unlicensed Microsoft software by the Russian authorities.

Associated Press reports the trial judge labelled the case "trivial" and threw it out of court - unsurprising given the international attention generated by the case. Ponosov told the AP that he was "off to drink champagne" as he left court.

Ponosov had been accused of running illegal copies of Windows and Office on 12 school PCs. He claimed the software came pre-installed and he knew nothing about it. However, Ponosov was charged.

Piracy is rife in the former Soviet Union - this case comes at a time when the Russian authorities are looking to clamp down on software piracy as Russia attempts to join the World Trade Organisation .

As we've previously reported on, former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev waded in by writing to Bill Gates to ask Microsoft to waive the charges. However, Microsoft said it could do nothing about the case as it was brought by the Russian authorities.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.