Archive | March 11, 2005

Microsoft and in negotiations for settlement

Computerworld News reports “Burst, Microsoft reach tentative settlement in antitrust case. had filed its lawsuit against Microsoft in 2002, alleging that the software vendor stole patented technology and trade secrets concerning Internet-based video-on-demand for its Windows Media Player.

This’ll be a real disappointment if it comes to pass, although Microsoft likely had little choice. Burst had pretty damning evidence that not only had Microsoft infringed on Burst’s intellectual property, but also alleged some pretty explosive evidence that Microsoft had systematically and intentionally destroyed email records to hide those earlier violations. This has been a crusade of the columnist known pseudonymously as Robert X. Cringely in columns here and here testify.

AFFECT releases Twelve Principles for Fair Commerce in Software and Other Digital Products

Ed Foster’s Gripelog column this week asks “Why You Should Stop Before You Click. This week the Americans For Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT) coalition announced its “Stop Before You Click” campaign promoting its 12 Principles for Fair Commerce in Software and Other Digital Products. But what does AFFECT mean by all that? After we stop before we click, what do we do next?”

The Twelve Principles read like a great start on a new relationship between commercial software vendors (and electronic consumer products) and their customers. Here’s some of the preamble:

When you buy an off-the-shelf product for yourself or your business, you expect the law to provide you with some basic rights. For example, your car will work as advertised. Or you will be allowed to legally sell the television set when you upgrade to a new one and you wouldn’t expect something as simple as lending a book to a friend to create any problems for you.

It might surprise you to learn, then, that the rights you are accustomed to when you buy traditional goods and services may not apply when you purchase digital products.

Vendors ought to study these ideas.

Apress gives away free ebooks

It seems that Apress is offering some of their older titles for free download. I snagged a copy of their “Programmers Introduction to PHP 4, ” a 4 megabyte, 478 page PDF. It looks like the full version of the book. The download site also offers the source code. The book includes a plug for the newer edition of PHP5 and MySQL, released in June of 2004. This is a smart move on Apress’ part. Hope it pans out for them financially.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.