Open Letter to DOJ re Microsoft Settlement
dank at kegel.com
Tue Jan 22 17:16:53 CST 2002
Bernhard Rosenkraenzer wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Jan 2002, Dan Kegel wrote:
> > I've drafted an open letter to the Department of Justice to explain why
> > the proposed settlement should not be accepted; it's at
> > http://www.kegel.com/remedy/letter.html
> Just read it - I like it, but IMO it's missing a couple of important
> * Opening the APIs and some file formats will not help at all if they are
> protected by restrictive patents. It is vital that Microsoft must be
> prevented from using those patents against potential competitors.
> This applies in particular to the "ASF" format Microsoft is pushing as
> a standard format for video distribution, but preventing anyone else
> from using through patent #6,041,345.
The proposed settlement does provide for some access to patents
on a 'reasonable and non-discriminatory basis'.
The States' proposal goes further, and proposes a 'royalty-free' basis.
I regret that I have not yet had time to dig into this interesting issue.
I encourage individuals to mention it in their own notes to the DOJ, though.
> * Microsoft uses OEM deals that prevent OEMs from shipping computers
> pre-loaded with a "dual boot" configuration that would allow users to
> use both Windows and a competing operating system, such as Linux.
The proposed settlement actually does prohibit that particular practice,
so I didn't need to cover it. (I did cover the related one of
discriminating against OEMs who ship *non-windows* computers, though.)
> If you think having a non-US citizen signing the letter, feel free to add
> me (Software Developer, Red Hat, Inc.).
I don't think it would carry any weight in this case, but thanks,
otherwise I'd love to! Maybe you could discuss this with your
coworkers in the US, though.
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