Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Fine print in DoJ sellout There are so many "get-out-of-jail-free" clauses in the Microsoft settlement that it's hard to list them all. Here are a couple:
- Section J 1 (Prohibited Conduct)
"No provision of this Final Judgment shall: 1.Require Microsoft to document, disclose or license to third parties:

(a) portions of APIs or Documentation or portions or layers of Communications Protocols the disclosure of which would compromise the security of anti-piracy, anti-virus, software licensing, digital rights management, encryption or authentication systems, including without limitation, keys, authorization tokens or enforcement criteria;

or (b) any API, interface or other information related to any Microsoft product if lawfully directed not to do so by a governmental agency of competent jurisdiction."

As we all know, all of Microsoft is moving towards one big DRM/authentication system, which effectively means that every API in the platform can be kept from third parties.

And if that wasn't enough, another clause states "the software code that comprises a Windows Operating System Product shall be determined by Microsoft in its sole discretion" meaning Microsoft can use its desktop monopoly to destroy any competitor at will.

Microsoft will use these government protections to tie the desktop browser closely to servers, take over the Internet, and tax everything using its DRM/authentication system.

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