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Microsoft Blast from the Past: Lawsuits and Fraud

handcuff
Land of the Fee: where rich people are never sentenced to jail



THIS new tradition which involves reminding readers of Microsoft's past seems ever more necessary because more and more people clearly forget. They are therefore willing to sell out. Check out this new article from Linux Magazine: "Author’s Note: [Hey, Microsoft, just in case you hadn’t considered this whole Compute utility thing before, you need to hire me to design and promote this new concept for you. You know where I am.]"

It does not seem like he's joking. The whole article seems like a total misfit.

Dismissal of Microsoft critics comes in familiar forms. There's extensive use of terms like "Microsoft hater" (last spotted hours ago), but since when it the hate of criminal behaviour compared to disdain of a company? We wrote about this problem before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Going a couple of years back, it's not hard to find cases where Microsoft is accused of fraud.

Dacom Corp said it has lodged a fraud complaint in the Seoul District Prosecutor's Office against Microsoft's South Korean unit.

Dacom claims that Microsoft Korea promised last September to give it exclusive rights to supply software over a certain period in return for Dacom's efforts to promote the use of authentic software in South Korean game rooms.


There are some more recent stories too (2007).

There exist older cases where Microsoft even paid to settle, which is pretty much an admission of guilt. Consider the fraud allegation from Seattle Computer Products:

Microsoft Corp. said it agreed to pay Seattle Computer Products Inc. nearly $1 million in an out-of-court settlement, ending jury deliberations in a $60 million licensing fraud lawsuit. Microsoft, one of the nation's largest software manufacturers, on Monday said it will buy back the seven license agreements it had with Seattle Computer, including any license for Microsoft operating systems products and high-level languages.


It's hard to find complete articles about this case (blame the curse of time), but here is another snippet.

Software giant Microsoft Corp. agreed late Monday to pay $925,000 to a tiny manufacturer of computer products, which had charged Microsoft with fraud.


They were paying to escape prosecution for something as serious as fraud. It did this before.

At one stage, in its defence, Microsoft tried to accuse Stac Electronics of fraud, but it backfired. Microsoft was eventually ordered to pay $120 million in damages:

Microsoft swiftly filed a countersuit, claiming that Stac was violating a data-compression patent that it had just acquired, had breached a nondisclosure agreement and was engaged in a civil conspiracy to commit fraud.


More information can be found here and also in here.

A federal jury yesterday ordered Microsoft Corp. to pay $120 million in damages to tiny Stac Electronics, which accused the software giant of stealing its key product.


These are just a few examples among many. More can be found in this extensive index. It's a shame that old articles vanish -- a phenomenon sometimes known as link rot.

When Microsoft engages in corrupt behaviour, such as in the recent OOXML fiasco, people must not treat this as something new. Microsoft just never changed. It happens to rely on amnesia, pardon, and the ability to rewrite history [1, 2, 3, 4].

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

--Winston Churchill

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