Tuesday Feb 06, 2007

Mikhail Gorbachev to Bill Gates

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is asking Microsoft's Bill Gates to lighten up on a teacher in Russia -- Gorbachev to Gates: Show mercy on software "pirate".

From the article:

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In an open letter, Nobel Peace Prize winner Gorbachev said the teacher, Alexander Ponosov, from a remote village in the Urals, should be shown mercy because he did not know he was committing a crime.

"A teacher, who has dedicated his life to the education of children and who receives a modest salary that does not bear comparison with the salaries of even regular staff in your company, is threatened with detention in Siberian prison camps," read the letter, posted on the Internet site of Gorbachev's charitable foundation www.gorby.ru.

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A Siberian prison camp? For probably using some outdated Microsoft software to help kids get computer literate? My goodness. Talk about overkill. Teachers have it tough enough, so I do hope Billionaire Bill and the Russian authorities back off. I can think of a few things in the world that are a tad more important than this, couldn't you? You know, guys, there is plenty of free and open source software around now that can be used without getting you tossed in a prison camp.

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