Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday asked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to intercede on behalf of a Russian teacher accused of using pirated software in his classroom.
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.
Having tamed Leninism, it stands to reason that Gorby would tackle the last remaining totalitarian regime capable of destroying civilization. But will Microsoft listen?