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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Retrial for Microsoft piracy case
Windows XP Home, PA
Microsoft says it is "not interested in prosecuting schools or teachers"
A Russian court has ordered a retrial of a case against a rural head teacher accused of using pirated Microsoft software in his school.

Last month a lower court in Perm, some 1,000km (620 miles) east of Moscow, dismissed the case as "trivial".

But a higher court has ruled it should proceed against Alexander Ponosov after pressure from the prosecution.

The trial has been seen as a response to international pressure to crack down on piracy in Russia.

Industry experts say Russia ranks second only to China in use of illegal computer software and bootlegged music.

'Utter nonsense'

Mr Ponosov is accused of breaking intellectual property rights, by installing pirate copies of the Windows operating system and Microsoft Word.

He insists the 12 new computers at his school had been delivered with the unlicensed software already installed. The school in the Urals village of Sepych has 380 pupils.

Having celebrated the case being thrown out, he was now keen to be formally acquitted, a spokesman said.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that the manufacturers of pirate goods - and not consumers - should be targeted and said the trial was "utter nonsense".

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev waded into the row last month, urging Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to intervene.

Microsoft has distanced itself from the prosecution, saying it had nothing to do with the charges and had opted last year not to bring any civil action.

Piracy case collapses in Russia
15 Feb 07 |  Europe
Gorbachev wades into piracy row
07 Feb 07 |  Europe
Anti-piracy tool confuses users
04 Jul 06 |  Technology
Piracy crackdown urged in Russia
30 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Microsoft steps up piracy fight
26 Jul 05 |  Technology
EU to monitor anti-piracy efforts
10 Nov 04 |  Business

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