Legal Archive

Show us the Windows Source Code, States Ask Judge

"The US States still pursuing Microsoft have upped the ante by asking the judge to force Microsoft to show them Windows' source code, their reasoning being that they need this to verify whether or not Microsoft is telling the truth when it says that producing a stripped-down and/or IE-free version of Windows isn't technically possible." Read the rest of the article at TheRegister. Our Take: Once again, all these hordes of lawyers are hunting the wrong thing. These days, it is inconceivable to ship an operating system without a file manager or a web browser or even a media player. What the States should be researching and demanding is clues for truly dirty business practices, not for the right (or not) to include your own software in your own OS.

The Crime of the Distributed.NET Computing

"A college computer technician who offered his school's unused computer processing power for an encryption research project will be tried next month in Georgia for computer theft and trespassing charges that carry a potential total of 120 years in jail." Read the unusual story at TheRegister, where this technician is facing jail because he installed the Distributed.NET client on some (mostly) idle computers. The authorities are charging him with "hacking" even if they realize that no hack took place. Our Take: When I left my pre-previous job, I left the distributed.NET client running on the Dell dual PII-450 PC I used to work with...

Nokia, Palm Line Up Against Microsoft

"Phone and PDA firms Nokia and Palm are fuelling fresh complaints about Microsoft's monopolistic practices, according to reports on Dow Jones. The nine states which decided to stick out against a DoJ (Department of Justice) settlement last month will invoke Finnish outfit Nokia and Palm as witnesses to the alleged infringements. Nokia, which some analysts see as somewhat losing its edge this year, is probably concerned about developments such as the Sendo phone, which we reported on last month." From ActiveWin.com.

The Microsoft Antitrust Settlement – a Line-by-Line Review

Part 1 of "Microsoft on Truth Serum" has been posted at OS/2 Headquarters. This article covers each line of the Definitions section of the document, and it claims that Microsoft plans to get out of each and every restriction listed. Furthermore, the article finds a "loophole" that actually grants Microsoft exemption from copyright lawsuits by rivals -- something no other software company has ever been granted.

Gassée Believes MS Bootloader Concession Could Boost Linux/BSD

"One possible concession by Microsoft in the proposed AntiTrust settlement has come too late to save the company which pressed hardest for its inclusion: Be, Inc." "I'm always cautious around what these guys 'promise'", Be's CEO Jean-Louis Gassée told TheRegister via email at the weekend. JLG believes that the restriction that DOJ posed to Microsoft regarding the bootloader issue, can boost Linux and *BSD. Our Take: Funny really, JLG says that this concession can boost Linux and *BSD, but he fails to mention his own child, the (abandoned) BeOS.

DOJ, Microsoft Close to a Deal

"Officials at the U.S. Justice Department met state attorneys general in the case to discuss a settlement that would allow computer manufacturers wider latitude to load non-Microsoft software on the machines they sell and give other software companies greater access to the code behind Microsoft's Windows dominant personal computer operating system, Reuters reported." Get the rest of the story at ZDNews. Update: Microsoft, Feds reached a deal. The software maker and the Justice Department settle their longstanding antitrust battle, in an agreement with far-reaching implications.

Technology Legislation Likely to be Lost in the Shuffle

With the U.S. government in turmoil over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, congress will likely be forgetting several pending bills that stood to affect the technology sphere. An ISP News article covers the legislation that's likely to be swept away, like the E-government Act and the National Digital School Districts Act. Alas, other legislation, like broad new wiretapping rules, restriction of encrption technology, and other electronic surveillence-oriented bills have either already been passed or are likely to come to vote in the near future, in order to facilitate intelligence gathering and spycraft in America's new war on terrorism.

DOJ Says Microsoft Should Not Break Up

The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it will not seek to break Microsoft Corp. in two during the next phase of the software maker's landmark antitrust case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in late June had overturned a lower court's order by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft be broken into two companies as a remedy for anticompetitive practices. At the same time, it upheld the lower court's conclusion that Microsoft has a monopoly in the market for computer operating systems and maintains that monopoly power by anticompetitive means in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.