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Sakhalin “installers” rob Microsoft

The counterfeit software business which has been flourishing in the end of XX and the beginning of XXI centuries is coming to nought. Police is becoming ever more active. And the recent events which took place in the Sakhalin region are another proof of it. A case has been initiated against two businessmen who have been engaged in counterfeit Windows and MS Office installation in government agenceis. The damage they caused to Microsoft was estimated at $6,5 thousand.

The Sakhalin district Aniva Region's Prosecutor's office has investigated the criminal case on Article 146 of the Russian Criminal Code. Andrei Azarevich and Dmitry Pankov were accused of violating Microsoft's copyright. The case has been taken to court.

The Prosecutor's office said Mr. Azarevich acquired counterfeit Windows/Office discs and stored them in his apartment. He placed an ad in a local newspaper offering software installation services. In February 2007 Mr. Azarevich and Mr. Pankov installed counterfeit software on computers of the Troitsk district administration estimated at 3,5 thousand rubles ($136).

The total cost of illegally installed Microsoft products was estimated at $6,496 thousand. That is the damage caused to Microsoft. It has been proven that Mr. Azarevich and Mr. Pankov installed counterfeit software on more than one computer. Same installation keys were used, as well as programmes to hack software security programmes. The accused might be sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment and fined at 500 thousand rubles ($19,4 thousand).

There have been numerous criminal cases on Article 146 recently, however none of the defendants received terms so far. The only precedent was the case against Technoresourse company Head Vyacheslav Zemlyakov. He was arrested in February 2007, sentenced to three years of imprisonment, and fined at 200 thousand rubles ($7,8 thousand).

© CNews

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