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Bryansk 'Pirate' Held in Microsoft Case

A Bryansk region resident faces up to eight years in prison on charges of pirating 53 million rubles ($1.7 million) worth of Microsoft software through file-sharing networks, news reports said.

The unidentified man shared Microsoft-produced office software and operational systems through a local torrent tracker, Bryansk police said, without elaborating, the computer industry web site CNews.ru reported.

The suspect, whose computer was confiscated by investigators, was charged with 15 counts of copyright infringement, a police spokesman said, adding that the case has been forwarded to court.

Police conceded that the suspect earned no money from file sharing but said one benefit that he gained from his activities was a higher user rating on the torrent tracker.

Microsoft has not commented on the case. Cnews.ru said courts usually hand down mild sentences in such cases.

Investigators are currently handling two dozen to three dozen cases of copyright infringement through file sharing, software industry analyst Dmitry Sokolov told CNews.ru.

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