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October 26, 2005

Microsoft in the (Legal) News

Antitrust

As reported earlier, Microsoft had attempted to insert language into contracts with mp3 vendors that would restrict them to supporting Windows Media Player in their bundle.  At the status hearing held today on the progress of the antitrust settlement, Judge Colleen Kotar-Kotelly said the issue was "one of concern."  Microsoft did not actually issue these contracts and removed the language from the drafts.  Microsoft attorney Charles Rule said the language came from a low level business person who was not fully aware of Microsoft's mandate.

The Judge also noted with disapproval that Microsoft is behind schedule in providing complete and accurate technical documentation to developers who license the company's communication protocol.  Kotar-Kotelly told attorneys that she wanted the project to be a top priority even if Microsoft had to hire more people to complete the work faster.  Prosecutors are to submit a report on November 18th and appear at a status meeting on November 30th to discuss the findings.

Details are in stories here, here and here.

Copyright and Book Scanning

Various news outlets are mentioning that Microsoft will join with Yahoo and others in the Open Content Alliances to scan books and make their contents available for searches.  Unlike Google, which was hit with twin suits alleging copyright violations, Microsoft plans to scan only those works in the public domain, or those works where a copyright holder gives express permission to scan.  More on this as it develops. 

October 26, 2005 | Permalink

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