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Microsoft Asks Slashdot To Remove Readers' Posts

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the DMCA-is-about-more-than-music-and-video- dept.


Our friends at Microsoft are upset about some of the readers' comments attached to the story, Kerberos, PACs And Microsoft's Dirty Tricks (posted on May 2), and would like us to remove those comments from Slashdot. We are not happy about this, to say the least. But instead of reflexively going into rant mode, we are calmly posting the full text of the e-mail we got from Microsoft, along with our initial response to it, so that you can see what news and community Web sites like Slashdot are up against now that the DMCA has become law. We are talking to our lawyers, of course, but we would also like your suggestions on how we should handle this situation.

From: "J.K. Weston"
To: "'dns_admin@andover.net'"
Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement under the Digitial Millennium Copyright Act
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:08:49 -0700
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2651.58)

Andover Advanced Technologies
50 Nagog Park
Acton, MA 01720
Phone: (978) 635-5300
Fax: (978) 635-5326
Email: dns_admin@andover.net; dns_tech@andover.net

Dear Internet Service Provider:

We understand that your website, http://www.slashdot.org, is a popular site for developers to discuss topical issues of interest. In that vein, it has come to our attention that there have been numerous posts of concern related to Microsoft's copyrighted work entitled "Microsoft Authorization Data Specification v. 1.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating Systems" and we would appreciate your posting this email to the site to help relay our position to your users.

This notice is being sent under the provisions, and following the guidelines, of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA).

Included on http://www.slashdot.org are comments that now appear in your Archives, which include unauthorized reproductions of Microsoft's copyrighted work entitled "Microsoft Authorization Data Specification v.1.0 for Microsoft Windows 2000 Operating Systems" (hereafter "Specification"). In addition, some comments include links to unauthorized reproductions of the Specification, and some comments contain instructions on how to circumvent the End User License Agreement that is presented as part of the download for accessing the Specification.

Although not intended to be an exhaustive representation, the specific comments below, categorized by corresponding activities, are examples of the misuse of Microsoft's proprietary information:

Comments Containing A Copy of the Specification:
"by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday, May 02, @03:37PM EST (#197)"
"by BlueUnderwear on Tuesday, May 02, @04:09PM EST (#239)"
"by BlueUnderwear on Tuesday, May 02, @04:15PM EST (#248)"
"by smartin on Tuesday, May 02, @02:20PM EST (#86)"

Comments Containing Links to Internet Sites with Unauthorized Copies of the Specification:
"by ka9dgx on Tuesday May 02, @2:52PM EST (#133)"

Comments Containing Instructions on How to Bypass the End User License Agreement and Extract the Specification:
"by myconid (my S conid@ P toge A the M r.net) on Tuesday May 02, @07:27PM EST (#362)"
"by markb on Tuesday May 02, @05:47PM EST (#321)"
"by Sami (respect.my@authorita-dot-net) on Tuesday May 02, @01:47PM EST (#19)"
"by iCEBalM (icebalm@[NOSPAM]bigfoot.com) on Tuesday May 02, @01:52PM EST (#33)"
"by Jonny Royale (moc.mocten.xi@notners) on Tuesday, May 02, @01:59PM EST (#51)"
"by rcw-work (rcw@d.e.b.i.a.n.org.without.dots) on Tuesday, May 02, @07:12PM EST (#353)"

Under the provisions of the DMCA, we expect that having been duly notified of this case of blatant copyright violation, Andover will remove the above referenced comments from its servers and forward our complaint to the owner of the referenced comments.

This email notification is a statement made under penalty of perjury that we are the copyright owner of the referenced Specification, that we are acting in good faith, and that the above-referenced comments, as part of http://www.slashdot.org, is posting proprietary material without express written permission.

We request immediate action to remove the cited violations from Andover's servers, in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

This email is not intended to waive any of our other rights and remedies.

Please confirm your receipt of this request by responding to this email. Also, confirm the status of this request either via email or via the following contact mechanisms:

By mail:
J.K. Weston, Designated Agent
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way, 114/2314
Redmond, WA 98052
By phone:
(425) 703-5529
By email: jkweston@microsoft.com


To: J.K. Weston"

From: Robin Miller

Subject: Notice of Copyright Infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Dear J. K. Weston:

Per your request, we are posting your e-mail on this subject on Slashdot.org to help you relay your position to our users.

The balance of your e-mail's content is somewhat puzzling to us. I'm sure you agree that freedom of speech is at least as important a principle under American law as the freedom to innovate, so I'm sure that you personally, and Microsoft corporately, will understand our hesitation to engage in censorship.

Indeed, after reflecting on the nature of freedom for a little while, you may wish to withdraw your request that we remove readers' comments from Slashdot. Please realize that if we censor our readers's posts because they contain ideas Microsoft does not wish to have made public, we may set an unhealthy precedent for other online news outlets and online service providers, including those owned in whole or in part by Microsoft itself.

Meanwhile, in case Microsoft does not decide to have a happy change of heart and support a free and open Internet (which would certainly be in everyone's best interest), we have sought advice both from our attorneys and from our readers about what, if anything, we should do next.

Please expect a formal reply to your request that we censor our readers' comments, which we allow them to post on Slashdot as freely as Microsoft allows user-generated content to be sent through Hotmail and through chat facilities and discussion groups hosted on MSN.com servers, as soon as we receive wise counsel not only from our attorneys, but also from concerned members of the Slashdot community and other interested parties.


- Robin "roblimo" Miller


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Split MS up in THREE parts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1078489)

It looks like we'll have to break up MS in three parts, not two as the US gov't wants.

  • OS Development
  • Application Development
  • Propaganda and Nazi-Tactics

actually (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1078493)

You would be censoring posts because they are illegal and violate standard US intellectual property norms, not because someone didn't like what they said. I know I would be pissed if someone decided that my couch wasn't actually mine and they should give it away to someone else.

Re:Shouldn't we all... (1)

whoop (194) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078495)

No. That whole Kerberos kludge needs to die. Further perpetrating it does no good.

This is the way to do it (1)

Sneakums (2534) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078520)

This is how all issues like this should be posted on Slashdot. A calm reporting of what happened and the response made, instead of kicking off yet another roiling mass of bile and ignorance.

Re:Give them hell! (1)

klops (5179) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078539)

No, this is not the first.
Emmanual Goldstein from 2600 already
had a court date for his case against
the MPAA on DeCSS. They _ARE_ suing him
for providing tool that volate DMCA.

Microsoft? (1)

Maxx (9947) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078573)

Who's Microsoft and why should we care about them?

Ask Slashdot? (1)

einstein (10761) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078580)

I know this is why off topic, but I can't help it.

At first glance of that headline "Microsoft Asks Slashdot..." I was thinking, "Microsoft Ask Slashdot? has Cliff gone loopy? Ask Slashdot about microsoft products. how silly." then I read the rest of the headline. *shudder*

Unfortunately, they're right..Where's my Redeemer? (1)

Lysol (11150) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078581)

Well, I could see that there are copies/snippets of what looks like actual document text posted on slashdot. Which is stupid! Posters should summarize and/or link to M$ to avoid this crap. So, I think (--shudders--) M$ has the right to request removal on this.
Cutting/copying & pasting is not 1st amendment stuff. Of course, any kind of opinions and whatnot posted re: this matter, as far as I'm concerned, should live long and be free.
Being the Unreal Tournament person I am, the simple solution to this matter - in a non-existent, perfect world - would be to launch a Redeemer at Redmond and be done with it. But, that's only make believe... *sigh*

We need a /. poll! (1)

Wreck (12457) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078593)

Put it up for a vote! Options:
  1. Do everything that MS wants
  2. Remove nothing at all, screw MS
  3. Remove only copyrighted material, no links etc
  4. Remove copyrighted material and suggestions as to how to bypass the EULA, but not links
  5. Remove copyrighted material and links, but not suggestions on bypassing EULA
I vote for (3), FWIW.

Way to go Roblimo!! (1)

BillWhite (14288) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078605)

Way to go RL! It's good to see there is somebody in the media with a bit of backbone.

The DMCA anti-circumvention provision (1)

Error Spelling (14666) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078608)

The DMCA anti-circumvention provision is a real threat to freedom. There must be some amendments made to the law that will expressly allow reverse engineering for educational purposes, at least. Microsoft is above the law when it comes to fair business practices. Why should they complain when someone else uses a few dirty tricks?

i say we... (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078652)

i say we unleash a rabid pack of 31337 s|r1p+ |1dd13z on them and thier email servers, infecting them all with ILOVEYOU :)

Re:Microsoft gets pissed, *everyone* suffers (1)

AstroJetson (21336) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078671)

Ooo, maybe he'll use the "Chewbacca Defense". If that won't get /. & Andover out of trouble, nothging will.

I'll chip $5 to pay for the lawyers... (1)

lythander (21981) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078675)

If you'll take this one all the way to the Supreme Court. DMCA (and UCITA, btw) needs to be overturned, the sooner the better.

Should I send a check or just buy some stock?

2 things: Freenet, File Formats (1)

g8orade (22512) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078676)

1. Freenet.
2. Here's what's coming with DMCA: More Proprietary File Formats, an End to Legal Reverse Engineering.

So, when MS screws the Kerberos standard through embrace and extend, it won't even be legal for you to try and find out what they did, much less to share your findings.

Fight it.

Re:This is a disgrace (1)

lightPhoenix (28084) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078697)

Well... I would imagine almost certainly. I mean, there are a ton of geeks there, and not all evil ones. I bet some of those good ones will even be in support of Slashdot. OTOH, this is not the best time or place for them to voice that. Now if you mean the "M$" guys in the way that the person threatening /. , well I doubt it. Sounds like a lawyer type person and its just is unlikely.

Take it to court (1)

X-Nc (34250) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078717)

This is one potential situation where the legality of the DMCA could be challanged. /. should NOT remove the referred to posts or links. Let's get this [DMCA] overturned by the courts.


This is bunk (1)

merlynn (46222) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078750)

Now I will admit that Microsoft has a somewhat valid point to their complaint, since it is copyrighted, blah, blah, blah. But think about it. If the posts were made congratulating Microsoft on some great new innovation, would they be as pissed? Or as quick to lash out at /.? I don't think so.

And, as most places do, there is that age old disclaimer of /. that reads: "The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. Slashdot is not responsible for what they say." So isn't Microsoft going against the wrong individuals anyway? Should they not track down those posters themselves, if it is so crucial a thing? Censorship is bad. Always has been, always will be. What ever happened to the free market of ideas and opinions? Does that fall victim to corporate overlords? Perhaps we, as posters need to start disclaiming things by saying "The above information is reproduced without permission...copyright...etc."

That said, the above quote is reproduced without express written permission from Slashdot."

Way to go! (1)

cyberguyd (50420) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078759)

Screw them bastards in Redmond!!

This would be the "extinguish" phase, then. (1)

klund (53347) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078764)

If there were ever any question as to whether Microsoft was going to play nicely with the other children in the Kerberos schoolyard, we now have our answer. Why am I not surprised?

Clearly, Microsoft has no intention of participating in any open standard process. Someone should develop a cleanroom version of the specification document, so it can be implemented in open source projects.

Embrace: done. Extend: done. Extinguish: underway.

Re:It would seem pretty obvious what to do... (1)

Kalak451 (54994) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078769)

I agree, but if the posts had just a small section of the document, and the section is cited as being from the microsoft document, then surely this is fair use, i do this for research papers for my classes all the time.

"Game over, man. GAME OVER!" (1)

ktakki (64573) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078789)

I say we dust off and nuke them from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.


"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

how long till... (1)

xcjohn (64581) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078790)

How long will it be until it becomes illegal to mearly speak a single word in a conversation because some power hungry corperation thinks that they are above everyone and everything? Has m$ realized that they are in court for illegal activities themselves? are they aware of the almost hypocritical tone that they are sending through these requests? Stop the s*#t m$, no-one likes you, and you cant stop people from merely disscussing various subjects, whether or not it concerns your company or not. this is beyond pitiful

United Republic of Microsoft (1)

hachiman (68983) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078799)

Oh dear.

Yet another example of Microsoft sticking the boot in and happily allowing the "freedom of speech/expression" thing that, I beleive, America was founded on to fall by the wayside.

I would love to know exactly how Microsoft can claim to be the world's saviour (opening up computing to the masses etc) when all they really want is control.

Does anyone else smell Big Brother and room 101??

Re:This is an original Post t-shirt post? (1)

Tau Zero (75868) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078821)

Snaggy, there IS such a thing as too much self-promotion.
This post made from 100% post-consumer recycled magnetic

Don't do it! (1)

eusdlwy (76228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078822)

Don't give in to the unreasonable requests of a poor-quality-producing monopoly such as Mirco$oft.

Don't be intimidated! (1)

biggaloot (78131) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078823)

BTW: I created the current Windows Kerberos icon for the folks at MIT some years ago, and I am extremely curious whether Microsoft is using it. Something to check into...

But where? (1)

shockwaverider (78582) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078825)

I'd be glad to volunteer for this but feel that the UK would not be the best choice of location. Where exactly would be the best choice for "some country" be? Presumably somewhere with no copyright agreement with the US I guess. Any ideas?

Whatever You Do, We'll Support It (1)

Omicron (79581) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078827)

It's scary to see some things like this pop up every once in awhile. I personally like the fact that they are asking you to let "Anonymous Coward" know that he/she has posted comments violating the DMCA. I thought it was kind of funny anyway. Then again, I am tired and just got done with my last final for the year. I wish you luck in this, and whatever support I could give. This has got to be one of the worst communities they could have ever thought to pick on on this topic - I don't think they have any the can of worms they just opened :-)

Time to set a legal precedent (1)

DebtAngel (83256) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078838)

Truth to tell, even though IANAL (I did take a couple years of High School law, but that obviously doesn't count), or even an American, I don't think there is a precedent for this. Is (at law) /. a service provider, a "portal", or a genuine news service with one stupidly big reader feedback section?

I would take the stance that everybody was well within their first amendment rights. However, you may still be forced to take off the comments that post the document verbatim - that does seem to be a copyright violation to me. You should be able to keep the links - there have been precedents there. You should also be able to keep the comments that tell people how to bypass the EULA - after all, opening the EXE in WinZip and extracting the file could be abstracted to allow Linux users to read the document.

Mind you, M$ has a trump - the patent on the concept that is /. :).

Beacause the DMCA breaks the Constitution's rules (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078841)

The GPL does not.

Can the DMCA be overturned? (1)

CleverFox (85783) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078852)

Can we call our local Senator to have the DMCA repealed?


Mirror it PRONTO! (1)

carlhirsch (87880) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078858)

Folks need to start volunteering to mirror that info ASAP. While Andover.net has clout, the position they're in is legally tenuous given the insanity of the DMCA.

Would Freenet be a good place to put the disputed info? If the spec were distributed widely enough, the genie would be out of the bottle and MS would have nothing to gain from further legal action against Andover/Slashdot.

Information wants to be free.


censorship? (1)

emanuelb (91375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078874)

I'm more-or-less playing devil's advocate here (I'm no fan of copyright laws or editing the past), but can this really be considered a call for censorship?

Microsoft is claiming that people have posted works copyrighted by them here. I haven't looked at the specific posts, but unless they are small excerpts (which might be fair use), Microsoft is quite within their rights to ask that the offending materials be removed.

If it becomes necessary to edit the archives, perhaps you could only removed copyrighted portion of the posts (replaced with [deleted at Microsoft's request] or something) rather than the entire post.

As for posts that merely link to copyright material... does the DMCA make that illegal??

No -way- (1)

ChrisUK (92178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078879)

Man, roblimo - I knew you had a scoop but I didn't dream of this. I'm incredibly angry. Microsoft are turning into Big Brother... and it's way past 1984. Wow. (ChrisUK/thoric)

this sure as heck isn't legal (1)

matticus (93537) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078884)

that's almost funny. slashdot is as much a forum for free speech as anything we have these days. i guess microsoft is all for closed source in everything, including speech. the fact that microsoft would try and dare to get people's comments (again, not owned by slashdot, owned by the poster) removed is laughable. they are not slashdot's to remove. if microsoft is pissed about what people are commenting, why don't they talk to the people themselves? and if they can't get in contact with them, well, oh no. they lost twelve dollars maybe out of their billions. give me a break, guys.

Heh.. (1)

krejan (99784) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078904)

It is my understanding that the comments are owned by the Posters, so it is not Slashdot's responsibility to remove or censor the posts.

Shouldn't Microsoft be happy? (1)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078909)

It seems to me that Microsoft is operating in an all-or-nothing manner with their authentification stuff. Doesn't their modified Kerberos only work in Win2k? It would seem to me that if that is the case they would appreciate people wanting to add Linux/BSD support for their modifed kerberos so that Win2k desktops could work on a network with Linux/BSD servers. Flexibility like that would sell more Win2k. The last thing they should want is people to go to another company because Win2k can't work with a non-Win2k server

Re:Put the posts where they can't get at them (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078948)

But they can have the posts removed from Usenet once they find their way to a UK server...or i'm i thinking of another type of censorship? I'm confused...

5 year old (1)

eternal (112324) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078957)

what dicks. Sounds like the mentality of a 5 year old. "it's my toy you can't play with it"

Time to call in OOG (1)

Netsnipe (112692) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078958)

OOG with his club shall rememdy the situation quite quickly. But in the meantime, if Microsoft wants to sue Slashdot and breach the First Amendment, then let them try. Everyone here and is sick by this attempt to curb criticism and freedom of speech will surely donate to any legal fund established to fight this insanity

Best of luck kicking M$'s ass Slashdot. They've taken one step too far. It's time to fight back.

Is this for real? (1)

kc0dxh (115594) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078975)

It seems to me that reader comments are a little out of bounds. What's next, unlicensed thought?

Dont do anything! (1)

SiKO (115956) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078977)

Surely a company with such a bad name in the press right now isnt out trying to make things worse?

The Fine Print... (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078993)

So, in a nutshell:

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. Slashdot is not responsible for what they say.

means nothing?

Or am I missing something?

Re:Erm, well... (1)

c_monster (124327) | more than 14 years ago | (#1078996)

I agree. Posting the whole or significant part of a Microsoft-copyrighted work would be illegal, DCMA or no. It's like posting the text of that Stephen King digital short story without permission.

However, comments about Microsoft, the specification (including illustrative segments), or where it can be found would all fall under fair use and be protected by free speech.


Constitutional Issue? (1)

yibyab (136363) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079035)

Let's not pretend this is a 1st Amendment issue. Unless I'm mistaken, Slashdot isn't a government entity and is not bound by the Constitution to protect free speech in this forum. The fact that it does is admirable.

Re:Double standard (1)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079055)

Because the GPL represents Free Speech, DMCA represents Corporate Censorship. big difference.


DMCA and the Press (1)

HRPuffNStuff (141881) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079056)

Are there special excemptions to DMCA to press organizations? Doesn't "news for nerds stuff that matters" qualify /. as a news organization? Traditionally, courts have upheld that the first ammendment is sacred, but that the freedom of the press is the Holy of Holies, and even if DMCA was lame enough to violate the freedom of speech of individuals, the idea that it would trample over the freedom of a press organization is unimaginable.

Copyright Infringement (1)

Closet Case (143960) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079062)

I have a friend who puts a copyright notice on the bottom of all his e-mail messages, presumably to prevent people from doing things with his messages that he disapproves of. So perhaps Microsofts lawyers will start copyrighting their letters to bully people into submitting them to the DMCA. Then you wouldn't be able to post them.

On a related note, perhaps people will copyright their submission to /. if they don't want to be compiled into a book.

tell them to got to hell (1)

kel-tor (146691) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079076)

or rather, tell them to go back to hell.

Slashdot EULA (1)

GalenBB (158828) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079120)

By clicking on "Read More", you hereby give up your rights under the DMCA to request the removal of any replies to this article.

Re:Shouldn't we all... (1)

Gypsumfantastic (159984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079123)

How about clearly and calmly sending copies of the DMCA provisions for fair use, and the First Amendment of the US constitution to microsoft over and over again, until they get a clue. Failing that a greased, sharpened stick and a game of hunt the lawyer could help improve matters.

May I suggest... (1)

Guylhem (161858) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079133)

May I suggest you sell slashdot and slashdot comments copyrights to Microsoft? Better selling them than removing them. -- Do not remove me !

What about fair use? (1)

rebbie (165490) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079149)

Don't the comments constitute "fair use" by their respective authors?

This law sucks (1)

joepancakes (174778) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079186)

i would take down the outright copies, but everything else should stay. there will be plenty of a legal battle with that. FREE SPEECH!!
is it time to break out the colored ribbons again?

do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, they are subtle and quick to anger

Fight em (1)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079203)

This is an outrage. This is plain and simply freedom of speach. I *WILL* not allow MS's monolpoy control my freedom of expression. There tring to domonate the software world, now this. I REALLY can't wait until the DOJ breaks them up. This is a clasic example of the crap they are try to pull. Slashdot will not go down in flames becuase there whining that no one likes them or there software. Fight em! You/we will win!

Doesn't US copyright allow quoting of material? (1)

Karma collector (184064) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079249)

Is just linking to sites containing copyrighted material now against the law in America?

Whoowee. Land of the free and all that.

I'd be very suprised if it was illegal to use quotations from a copyrighted document. It would be impossible for and information based society to function if that were the case.

IANAL and know nothing of US copyright law but I suspect that they don't have a leg to stand on.

My reply (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1079266)

Just a snippet, but you get the point. No need in reposting the whole thing:

"The fields are defined as follows: include-pac - This field indicates whether a PAC should be included or not. If the value is TRUE, a PAC will be included independent of other preauth data. If the value is FALSE, then no PAC will be included, even if other preauth data is present. The preauth ID is: #define KRB5_PADATA_PAC_REQUEST 128


1 Neuman, C., Kohl, J., Ts'o, T., "The Kerberos Network Authentication Service (V5)", draft-ietf-cat-kerberos- revisions-05.txt, March 10, 2000

2 Tung, B., Hur, M., Medvinsky, A., Medvinsky, S., Wray, J., Trostle, J., " Public Key Cryptography for Initial Authentication in Kerberos", draft-ietf-cat-kerberos-pk-init-11.txt, March 15, 2000""

Posting AC for legal reasons (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1079267)

I fear that even /. might cave in to the legal power of M$ and remove these posts. This thread should be copied to a servers all over the world as soon as possible by whichever AC's have the resources.

Accusing the wrong person? (2)

bmac526 (21433) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079346)

At least one of the comments that they claim contains a copy of the spec, does NOT contain the spec. Post #86 by smartin simply says "What happens to the people that implement it (ie. the Samba guys) even if they obtain the information without intentionally breaking the license. Are they exposing themselves to expensive litigation? Are they endangering the project?" It's post #87, by anonymous coward, that contains the spec. Thus, Microsoft has unjustly slandered the good name of "smartin". Who knows what else they have wrong.

You didn't agree to the EULA (2)

austad (22163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079347)

Someone else posted it on the site, which means that THEY violated the agreement that it was to be treated as a "trade secret". You didn't agree to anything at all. What if this was posted to hundreds of newsgroups, who would Microsoft go after then? Kinda hard to remove it from everyone's news servers.

Why can they even call it Kerberos in the first place? It's not Kerberos anymore, it's some wacky proprietary authentication since they hacked it all up.

Removal of posts that describe workarounds... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079350)

I think the scariest part (and one with legal backing under the DCMA) is where they ask to remove posts that just describe how to access the contents of the document:

[Ms asks to remove posts, including...] and some comments contain instructions on how to circumvent the End User License Agreement that is presented as part of the download for accessing the Specification.

Would they mind telling us which posts in particular they consider legally viable to get around the licence? (So we can remove them later, of course! :-) )

Sour Grapes (2)

348 (124012) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079445)

Sour grapes. They're just having a bad month and needed to take it out on someone.

This is a disgrace (2)

shawdog (128341) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079455)

So now Microsoft is whining about Slashdot!! What is this world coming to when they get anything they want?! I say take a stand and keep the comments up!!

Mixed feelings here. (2)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079456)

OK, I have some mixed feelings on this. On one side, it is unfair for Microsoft to try to remove this from Slashdot. It's censorship of something that is freely available but something they still wish to keep tabs on.

On the other hand, when you download the files, you agree (and the document even states that you must agree with it if you are wanting to use it) to the terms and conditions of Microsoft. One of those is that you don't copy or reproduce it.

People downloaded this and then broke the law by posting it here. Slashdot isn't a place to spread illegal materials. These aren't original posts here, they're copyright infringements of documents made by Microsoft.

I'm not a MS fan, but I think that /. should pull these down as they're Microsoft's work and not original posts...


fight it! (2)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079464)

I vote for fighting it till your last breath....


Email.. (2)

Jasonv (156958) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079471)

You forgot to put at the end of the message:

"This letter is copyright by AndOver.net. Reproduction of this email by, but no limited to, email servers, email clients, or other electronic or non-electronic means is a violation of the owners copyright. License to copy this email is given at a rate of $100,000 per copy. By reading this email message you agree to the above terms."

Then email it to everyone you can find at Microsoft, and use a hotmail account. By the time you're done they'll owe you enough money to cover the costs of lawyers you'ld need to keep the whole thing in court for a few years until no one cares anymore :)

They must be kidding (2)

D Fens (170157) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079474)

Just standing up to be counted

I'm holding up one finger to make it easier, Billy

Double standard (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1079482)

Why is it ok to break the DMCA but not okay for me to go break the GPL? Seems like a pretty huge double standard to me.

*This* is what Microsoft wants censored: (3)

Mr. Neutron (3115) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079484)

Re:Loophole? (Score:2, Informative)
by myconid (my S conid@ P toge A the M r.net) on Tuesday May 02, @08:27PM EST (#362)

Heres a good loophole. Install Winrar, right click on the icon and select OPEN WITH WINRAR, extract the file.
Whats a license? I never saw one..


I suggest we all stand outside the Redmond Campus with bullhorns and shout that, repeatedly.


Suggestion: Mark Up Microsoft's E-mail with Links (3)

dave_aiello (9791) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079486)

It's really hard to review what Microsoft is questioning, because the references to comments posted to Slashdot are not themselves hyperlinks. Perhaps the story could be edited so that the references to comments could be clicked through?

Dave Aiello

Rational mature approach (3)

seizer (16950) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079490)

Let's try to keep the postings here to a certain standard of maturity. We must appear (because we ARE) to be Microsoft's peers, not Microsoft's unruly next door neighbours' children. If this ever reaches court (who knows, let's hope not), and Microsoft can show 400 postings which say "fuCk yOU mICRo$oft", it won't help too much. Keep calm, keep thinking.

--Remove SPAM from my address to mail me

As an added incentive (3)

FascDot Killed My Pr (24021) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079492)

Now I know that, deep down, the Slashdot editors (and owners) are anti-censorship and, specifically, anti-removing-the-comments.

BUT, while the spirit is willing, the flesh may be weak. That is, if Microsoft actual sues (or threatens to), Slashdot may cave for financial reasons.

So I propose the following: If Slashdot removes the comments without having been forced to by an actual court ruling, we boycott Slashdot. Hopefully that will provide the needed reverse financial pressure.
Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?

Put the posts where they can't get at them (3)

eagl (86459) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079498)

Post all the messages, links included, to USENET. They can't sweep it under the carpet from there.

Fair Use (3)

Walker (96239) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079501)

If my knowledge of copyright law is correct (Not necessarily so), the user posts may fall under fair use -- provided that not too much was used. Fair use is not just limited to educational use; critique and public commentary are included.

This is even more true because the posts are noncommercial. Otherwise AC has some serious royalties due him/her.


Re:But where? (3)

spiralx (97066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079502)

Taiwan or Malta would be good - they don't have copyright laws there at all, so MS couldn't really do anything about it.

Give them hell! (4)

djweis (4792) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079509)

Who would have thought slashdot would be one of the first potential court cases to test the DMCA :-)

The Right Place (4)

JonKatz (7654) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079512)

This is the right place at the right time to start working to dismantle this dreadful law, passed nearly two years ago while much of cyberspace wasn't paying attention.
Some rock bands and music companies (for completely different reasons) are invoking this same law, as will any large corporation with lawyers that doesn't want to see something published. Under the worst provisions of the DMCA, you don't even have to prove copyright infringement, just allege it..and the ISP can only avoid liability by booting the offenders or deleting the allegedly offensive material. To restore access or content, you have to file an affidavit under the jurisdiction of the federal judge in your region.
This is one of the reasons it's outrageous for a corporation like Microsoft to use the DMCA to remove public comments. Almost nobody online was paying attention with the entertainment industry rushed to get this law passed, maybe because nobody imagined companies like Microsoft would jump in to use it to try and control what they call "proprietary" information, but which, in fact, will have the affect of censoring, chilling free speech. Slashdot is lucky, in this case, to be owned by a corporation..it has access to lawyers. To really grasp the horror here, imagine if you're a smaller website or weblog.Step one: The DMCA has to be repealed or re-written.It's much more offensive and damaging than the Communications Decency Act would have been, and much more enforceable.

Applause. (4)

juuri (7678) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079513)

Granted I don't care too much most of the opinions of slashdot editors (or posters for that matter). But it is good to see than when something real and serious comes up the editors here at Slashdot can put down the bias and the "revelery" for a moment and do the right thing.

Your response was brief, to the point, and most importantly not inflammatory. Microsoft is a corporation, so of course its going to act like one. This fact seems to get lost on many slashdot posters. The DMCA is something they fought for... and now something they are going to use to fight with. This is as it should be. Its the lay of the land now... the way it works. Currently.

Unfortunately for Microsoft (and any large coroporation) they move slow and reacte even more slowly. The power of the net comes from its ability to inform many people of all of the facts on any issue almost instantly. Long gone are the days when it took months or even years to start a proper counter-movement. Now it takes days... Microsoft has felt this before and they will feel it again. What was acceptable for big business in the 80s became less so in the 90s and now in the zeros those who can't change and adapt to a smart, all knowing consumer are doomed to failure at that consumer's hands. This is the "internet economy"... not some company with potential billion dollar profits 5 or 6 years after starting up, no its consumers finally having real choice and power.

It is about time :)

Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...

Been waiting for this... (4)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079519)

I've been waiting for this to happen for a LONG time. I vote for a refusal to edit the posts or remove. And furthermore I vote that all of us users start appending those posts to our new posts like this:

May I claim John Doe #1 ... (Score:1)
by BlueUnderwear on 05:17 PM May 2nd, 2000 EST (#253)
(User Info)
... for This puppy. [free-dvd.org.lu] It's the kerbspec file unzipped and without the legal boilerplate.


Idle musings (possibly unpopular) (4)

riggwelter (84180) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079521)

The notion that Microsoft should be allowed to censor /. or any other medium is repugnant, and were this solely about this then I'd be throwing my hat in with everyone else who has knee-jerked and screamed "WE HATE BILL" with all their might.

If only they'd bothered to look at the issue here...

Microsoft say that certain posts infringed their copyright, and, if we're honest, they did. People blatently posted material copyrighted to M$. Such posts should never have been allowed to remain on the server, but they did.

Please don't do anything daft and turn this into a legal case that slashdot/Andover can't afford. I fear you would lose, and it wouldn't even be a blaze of glory you'd go out in.


Dear Microsoft - (4)

wrenling (99679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079523)

Dear Microsoft -

Its nice to see that you are continuing to live up to your reputation of attempting to squash any open discussions of your business practices.

Instead of pulling out the DMCA and trying to use it to control, take a look at some of the comments that were made. At the *very* good points that developers and other IT people made about your release. And consider them an independent discussion of your business. The people who were discussing you are in a large part the people who are also your customers, your developers, and the very community with which you want to be having open discussions.

The best thing you could do at this point is to retract your letter, *apologize* and perhaps contact the Slashdot crew about an 'Ask Microsoft' regular feature. You might be surprised at some of our questions -- and who knows, you may surprise us in a *good* way with some of your answers.

Flaw in Microsoft's logic (4)

ChadM (102789) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079524)

Circumventing the EULA is not illegal. It has no copy protection, it is a simple archive and can be opened in almost any program that handles that sort of file(iw winzip). Just because doing so is against what the EULA says, you must remember that the EULA was never agreed to when somebody decides to simply open it in winzip.

Also, simply linking to sites that contain unpacked versions that don't have the EULA on it is not illegal, or at least isn't yet(and hopefully never will be). The MPAA tried to get the courts to block 2600 from linking to DeCSS sites(and DeCSS has already been deemed illegal to have in your possesion). Why should slashdot stop linking to sites that contain microsofts implementation of the kerberos protocol when its not even illegal to have to begin with. There is no law saying a EULA must be present when you look at something from a company, even if a company wants it to be that way. I say it's time for Microsoft to realize that their days of blind bullying are over. Don't take down any posts concerning that story.

Not to mention the fact that "posts are the property of the person who posted them" to begin with. Stupid lawyers

Moral responsibility (4)

molog (110171) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079525)

Well there seems to be a little bit of an impass here. Will the admin stand up for the right of free speach and fight this fight or will they surrender to the will of the man? I don't know what MS is doing to be honest. They are trying to make their public relations nightmare worse then it already is. Please CmdrTaco and company, stand up to this.

So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

Re:This is a disgrace (4)

348 (124012) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079526)

Hey, at least they're visiting the site.:) I wonder if the M$ guys have accounts?

When in Rome.. (5)

NickFitz (5849) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079531)

Tell them that their concerns will be addressed in the next Service Pack for the discussion, whilch will be available 2nd quarter next year. Until then it is suggested that they disable ActiveSlashdot in their browser. Oh, and reinstall CommonSense while they're about it.

Did the email have an attachment with a .vbs extension by any chance?

New moderation options.. (5)

seeken (10107) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079533)

These should be added to the list with insightful, etc.

+1 Trade Secret
+1 Copyright Violation
+1 National Secret

Surfing the net and other cliches...

Perhaps just remove the actual text copies (5)

StormCrow (10254) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079534)

I believe it is out of line to remove links to Microsoft's documents, but the comments actually containing the document are probably a legitimate target for removal.

Re:Perhaps just remove the actual text copies (5)

loki7 (11496) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079537)

It's nice to see someone making sense. Roblimo's response was somewhat puzzling.

While telling people where to find copies of a document is, arguably, a free speech issue, posting verbatim copies of a copyrighted work clearly isn't.

If I posted a list of 100 stolen credit card numbers to Slashdot, would they remove that?


Microsoft gets pissed, *everyone* suffers (5)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079541)

Someone should start a fund to help Slashdot in case Slashdot does get sued by Microsoft, even though it's very unlikely Slashdot will win. Maybe hire Johnny Cocran to take the case as well as Andover's lawyers. He's had great experience when it came to the O.J Simpson trial ;)

Anyways, everyone needs to write their representative now! This link [translator.cx] will allow you to do so with ease. The DMCA needs to be stopped before it stunts technology permanantly.

A Test is in order (5)

Penrif (33473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079544)

Okay, I propose a test. Let's post these Microsoft copywrited materials to some discussion group on MSN. If it's gone within a certain amount of time, then Slashdot should remove their copy. Else, Microsoft is being horribly hypocritical, and I'm sure that can't look good in court. But then again, I don't think there's a provision in the DMCA for hypocracy.

Look at the bright side... (5)

A moron (37050) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079546)

We got a microsoft suit to send slashdot an email with the word "blueunderwear" in it twice. Thanks to blueunderwear for tick them off.

Shouldn't we all... (5)

ronfar (52216) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079548)

.. find those posts Micros~1 is complaining about and post the contents of them to our individual Web pages? Sort of like DeCSS?

It might be even more fun to do this to M$, if they (an individual company) keeps fighting things in court, maybe they'll bankrupt... unlike the Entertainment Trust which still owns a lot of people's hearts and minds.

Re:Erm, well... (5)

shomon2 (71232) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079550)

I think the problem is quite different from actually providing that information in this instance.

If we just moved the contents of those comments somewhere else, sure we'd put slashdot off the hook, but it would escape this important opportunity to oppose the dmca.

If slashdot removes those comments, the DMCA has a precedent, and this site will be the place that set that precedent. I think it is of utmost importance not to do that.

You can take all the controversial stuff you want, and hide it in another country, but if you keep running and hiding, soon there will be no country free enough to hide that information in. Someone needs to turn around and oppose the DMCA head on. That's what will stop it.


It would seem pretty obvious what to do... (5)

jalbro (82805) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079552)

Here's my input:

Yank the posts that copied the original Microsoft documents. They clearly own the copyrights, and that is a reasonable request.

As for the links and the comments about the EULA, tough nouggies, theose are protected free speech, copyright the original posters.


Fair Use. (5)

Juda_ben_Maci (83638) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079553)

I have not read the comments so I am not certain this pertains. The law explicitly says that it is legal to uses copyrighted material if it is for editorial purposes. Considering that Slashdot is clearly an environment for discussion and debate the posting of Copyrighted material should be legal as long as it pertains to the topic being discussed.

Bad publicity probably best way to deal with this (5)

spiralx (97066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079556)

I suppose that this had to happen sooner or later given some of the things that get posted to /. every time a "trade secret" story comes up here. It's ironic really that it's everybody's favourite company, Microsoft, that's the one to finally do it though :)

Anyway, given that this is exactly the sort of thing the DMCA was created for I very much doubt that Slashdot would win if it ever goes to a court of law. /. did have posts which contained copies of the information which were forbidden under the MS Kerberos EULA, and the recent court case victory for shrinkwrap licenses doesn't put /. in a good position.

The one way I can see to fight this is through publicity and public opinion. Microsoft aren't liked, and if enough of a stink is raised they may back down. And /. is great for raising a stink, especially when it comes to Microsoft :) So everyone should be working to publisize this as a violation of free speech and general interference by a corporation intent on making money at the expense of other's work.

And I fully expect that the relevent posts will already be mirrored in a hundred places across the net by the time this gets posted anyway, so, like with DeCSS, it's a battle that's lost in practice but being fought for control :)

Liability for people's post (5)

Mo B. Dick (100537) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079557)

As soon as you start controlling what people post, you will become liable for everything posted!

Stick To Your Guns! (5)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079559)

I'm 100% certain that when i say this, i am saying it for all of Slashdot's readers:-

No matter what Microsoft threatens, no matter what they say, do not give into them. This is not because it is Microsoft, but because Free Speech is far too important, especially on a forum such as Slashdot. Give them hell.

As a side issue, i have a feeling this could turn into a very intersting thread. It covers all the things Slashdoters love to hate: Microsft, the DMCA and Censorship.

Erm, well... (5)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 14 years ago | (#1079560)

If I'm not mistaken (IANAL, naturally), actually hosting the material is illegal. BUT, linking to it is perfectly fine. So, someone make copies of all the comments... stick them on a server off in some country where they can't be touched, and post a link moderated to +5 on the story in question linking to that page.

I think that would get /. off the hook, and the comments would still be there and totally visible.

-- Dr. Eldarion --
It's not what it is, it's something else.
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