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06.03.09

Microsoft and the BSA Go Litigious

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, Search at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Handcuffs

Summary: Legal actions roundup

SEVERAL months ago we began witnessing the failure that Microsoft's Live Search cashback had been. Microsoft is now suing ten individuals which it claims to have abused their offering of cashback.

Microsoft filed a lawsuit May 21 against 10 anonymous defendants – John Does – alleging they fraudulently used the Live Search cashback service and stole an undisclosed amount of money.

Can people also be sued for using the ‘new’ search engine, which is not only blocked in some places but is also upsetting Fox right now for playing pornographic videos within itself? One does not even need to exit the search site because of “autoplay” (preview videos).

Meanwhile, over here in the UK, the Microsoft front known as BSA [1, 2, 3, 4] is chasing companies that are using non-Free software.

BSA urges London companies to check for pirate software

[...]

The BSA said that it is already investigating several companies in the London area for using unlicensed software. “As a result, these businesses face the prospect of legal proceedings and the BSA is urging other businesses to avoid being subject to the same fate,” it said in a statement. “In the current economic climate, London’s businesses cannot afford to waste money on legal actions, subsequent financial settlements and the unplanned purchase of legitimate software.”

Would it not be a lot simpler had companies simply abandoned proprietary software altogether?

To say a little more on legal news, the other day we wrote about the requirement that Microsoft should not abuse its monopoly to advance Internet Explorer. Microsoft lobbyists completely poisoned the press, but there are two newer reports which are more decent as they pay no attention to Microsoft’s spinners.

From heise: European Commission considers imposing new special conditions on Microsoft

Under the European Commission’s plans, writes the WSJ, Windows users would be offered a choice between several browsers when setting up their PCs. They would also have the option of making any one of the programs their default browser. Furthermore, Microsoft would have to make contracts with PC manufacturers to ensure they did not remove the option of selecting a browser.

From The Register: EC pressure on Microsoft grows

Competition authorities typically take one of two routes to dealing with companies which are found guilty of anti-competitive action. One option is to order a structural remedy, such as forcing a company to split up or spin off part of its business. Alternatively, they can instruct a firm to make a behavioural remedy, to change the way it does business.

The trouble with behavioural orders is they usually require detailed oversight to ensure the firm is complying properly.

Microsoft and legal violations are becoming almost synonymous.

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