Let us NEVER forget this:
There has been moderately active Linux community in Russia, with
availability of cheap hardware and good programming skills. However,
there has been little government or institutional support, and a lack
of understanding of why one would want not to use Windows. But not
Runet and Russian official media have been flooded with discussions
and instructions on open source, and what it would take to drop
Microsoft 'soft' altogether. All this has been prompted by the recent
legal case of 'Microsoft versus Ponosov'. Alexander Ponosov is a
school director from a Perm' region (Ural mountains), who does not
seem to be an 'advanced' Windows user himself (which in Russia
usually means word, exel and powerpoint). However, he was charged
with violating Microsoft copyright, and under the current legal
provision could be sentenced for 5 years in jail. Plus Micrisoft side
demanded 266.593.63 roubles (presumably calculated to equal 10.000
dollars, but the dollar is falling), from a school director whose
salary is probably 200-300 dollars per month (at best!).
What is it all about? 20 computers in his school computer lab, with
illegal copies of Windows, claims Microsoft side, that violates
piracy law and its IP.
It started as a quiet case, but gradually became a matter of national
concern. It became about "American multi-national mammoth
corporation" against "a little man" of our own. The fact that Ponosov
(whose name, curiously, might be translated both as related to 'nose'
as well as 'diarrhea' that is widely referred to in Runet) looked
like he had no clue what it is all about, was an 'ordinary' man,
making very little money in a remote secondary school, unconnected to
IT sector, showed how unwise Microsoft actions were. Until then
Russia was demonstratively trying hard to fit Western IP laws. But 5
years in jail for 20 computers in a school lab?
This a short version of the M$ law suit. FTA