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Microsoft vs. Slashdot Update

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the headaches-and-more-headaches dept.

Microsoft 411

I spent some of yesterday and part of today (Saturday) on the phone with our law firm's intellectual property specialist dicussing Microsoft's attempt to get us to remove reader posts about Kerberos. We're lucky to have a lawyer who "gets it." We're also lucky to have gotten some very favorable press about all of this.

But, sadly, I can't really tell you much more right now than "we're still working on it" for two reasons:

  • We're exploring a lot of angles and doing a lot of research, and in order to maintain attorney-client privilege we must keep all discussions with our lawyer *extremely* private.
  • Microsoft's legal people (obviously) read Slashdot.
I have scanned every single reader post on this subject, and some of them have contained *very* helpful suggestions. It hurts me not to be able to share more, especially with those of you who have given us useful advice.

Meanwhile,'s management has been totally supportive. Our President, Bruce Twickler, deserves special thanks for his staunch backing and general coolheadedness. And our VP of Corporate Communications, Janet Holian, has done an excellent job of getting information out to other media while letting us work (comparatively) undisturbed.

There are also rays of light from the other end. I've gotten a small but steady trickle of e-mailed support messages from Microsoft workers who are embarrassed by their employer's actions both in rudely extending Kerberos and their attempt to "publish" their proprietary Kerberos extensions while still trying to keep them hidden behind a non-disclosure agreement.

Please bear in mind that many Microsoft employees are perfectly nice people. For all we know, the nice people at Microsoft may yet persuade the not-so-nice ones that there are times when it's better to work with others to establish industry-wide standards than it is to act as if the freedom to innovate belongs only to Microsoft.

(Special message to nice Microsoft people: Here's a quote you may wish to call to your bosses' attention:
"...Kerberos is a multivendor standard, so it allows secure interoperability and the potential for single sign-on between the Microsoft world and other vendor environments." If they ask where you got these words, please refer them to this page.)

Anyway, once again, please accept my personal apology for not being able to share more information with you right now. This is an uncomfortable situation for everyone involved, and we hope that Microsoft chooses to give this story a happy ending as soon as possible.

- Robin "roblimo" Miller

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Re:I hope Microsoft sues you fools (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1074662)

That's a poor excuse for a troll. Please read the Slashdot Troll Howto [] .

Re:Just in Case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1074663)

Somebody's already taken care of things for Microsoft.

Freenet [] keys listed on the net:

  • ms-kerberos-specification.pdf
  • microsoft/kerberos.pdf
  • Microsoft Kerberos Specifications
  • microsoft/kerberos
It's too late to be claiming trade secret now. The cat is out of the proverbial bag, never to be put back in.

Sorry, Bill. No matter what the courts say, at best this battle will be a Pyrrhic one.

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1074664)

Chances are, you see, that MS published their spec in this form so that they could start a costly legal battle against any reverse engineers within the USA - since the reverse engineers would have to prove they didn't see the spec.

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1074675)

How about taking a publicly available protocol (Kerberos) designed for multi-vendor inter-operability (and was developed with the help of U.S. taxpayer dollars), adding a tiny extension to Kerberos and calling on the same government whose taxpayers helped pay for its development to punish anyone who has the nerve to reverse-engineer and use it without shelling out big bucks for a Win2000 server license? Do you think that's OK?

I was ambivalent about breaking up M$, but after learning more details about the Kerberos fiasco, I'm leaning in favor of breaking up M$ into tiny little bits.

Well Said (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1074676)

It is often easier to villify an entire organization and all those associated with it rather than take the time to reason out the inner divisions that most likely exist. Thank you for acknowledging those that are trying to take the empire down from the inside :)

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (1)

Mike Hicks (244) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074679)

Right.. Most people just don't question what they get when they pull their computer out of the box. They are happy to just use what comes with the system, and don't even question what else might have come with it. Computers are much different than cars, where you are stuck with many options from the time you buy the car until it is dead and buried (well, unless you are a skilled metal worker..) I imagine most people see computers the same way, which is very wrong.

I think I'm going to try and contact Best Buy and some other `consumer' computer vendors. I'd like to induce them to question whether they should only be selling boxes with Windows on them, or if it would be an option for them to pre-load anything else. My opinion is that Microsoft has taken actions that are not in the best interest of consumers, and that Best Buy (a conduit for many different computer products, including boxed versions of Linux) has an important role to take in helping consumers make the best choice when they buy computers and computer products. *shrug* it's a fairly complicated issue, and I hope they can come to a good decision..
Stop the MPAA []

Good luck! (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074680)

We all know something like this was eventually going to happen. As such, we have to admire your courage, and thank your supporters on the corporate side.

Good luck and may The Force be with you!


Re:Catching up & Letter to Editor (1)

DrSpoo (650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074685)

Thats a great letter, I also wrote on myself. However I couldn't easily find the authors email address, so I just sent it to

Could you please post the authors email address so that I can send my message to him directly (to be sure he gets it ;)


Re:I hope you get taken to the cleaners. (1)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074691)

>Nothing would please me more to see some MS lawyers beat the righteous
>indignation out of slashdot.

Are you talking about the same lawyers we saw in Jackson's Court? Those guys couldn't beat the fleas out of the Taco Bell Rat, err dog. {That thing *IS* a dog isn't it?}

Re:to all you anti-corp people (2)

C.Lee (1190) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074693)

>taking on Microsoft and perhaps Microsoft miscalculated that VA mgmt
>would cave and pull the posts rather than risk an expensive and
>disruptive legal battle.

This is exactly what most likely happened. Remember when Mircosoft basically went around stealing the WWW addresses of Windows users web pages? Since nearly all these guys caved in to Mircosoft, Microsoft most likely thought they could pull similar stunts on the non-microsoft user base.

This is what I like to see. (1)

bkosse (1219) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074694)

Yes, we know that you can't really comment, but taking the time to explain the situation is incredibly beneficial to your audience, even if you couldn't say anything we really didn't know before hand.

I wish more companies would do that.

Re:*rolls eyes* (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074701)

It appears as though the editors of slashdot feel that license agreements in general are ridiculous.

I assume this also includes the GPL.

Re:I hope Microsoft sues you fools (3)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074714)

Slashdot is the worst pile of a web site I have ever seen.

Don't web surf much, do you?

There are tens of millions of web sites out there, most of which have much lower quality, smaller audiences, and less content than Slashdot.

Oh... but you didn't mean "worst" == "lowest quality", did you? You mean "worst" == "most thousands of readers who think you trolls are childish idiots, and tell you so."

Anyone want to speculate what damages Microsoft will ask for?

Sure: Slashdot will remove the one or two posts that were verbatim copies of the pseudo-kerberos spec, will stand firm on the rest, and Microsoft will back down rather than incur more horrible PR.

Wow, you guys lost a lot of money in the past few months eh?

No, they didn't. Anyone with any sense knew that the RHAT, LNUX, and ANDN stock prices were a bubble, and sold what they could at the top of the bubble to fad speculators. As for those principal shareholders who couldn't sell without losing control of the company, their stock prices are still trading higher than their first indicated IPO price.

Microsoft is valued at 100 times you losers.

And by emotionally attaching yourself to their financial success you somehow shield your ego from your own personal and social failures?

That's just my theory; otherwise I don't see how that sentence was relevant. In theory the judge doesn't ask both parties how much their market value is before making a decision.

MSFT could aquire LNUX 100 times over if they wanted to but they dont.

No, they couldn't. They could afford to acquire LNUX, and could make a private offer the same way they tried to buy They could not acquire VA Linux for the same reason they couldn't acquire because the owners wouldn't sell to Microsoft.


I know in my heart that you're just trolling and trying to bait people like me... but part of me fears you're serious. If so, I would suggest that you step away from the computer, and attempt a long period of social interaction. Try to make a friend, or even a girlfriend (but don't tell her that you are a "troll" or that your name is "Dr Kool"). Try to avoid screaming angrily about things that don't concern you, and instead avoid things like "Linux" that seem to be stress factors for you. You'll be happier, and live longer.

Oh, and if you moderate this down, it will be proof that you nazis are trying to stop the flow of information.

You seem to be unclear on the concept of "moderation", the English language, or both. First of all, you continue to use the pronoun "you" even though the audience you are apparantly addressing has changed from the Slashdot employees to the moderators (current moderators? all past moderators? do you understand the difference?). Secondly, you seem to be unaware that "moderating down" a post does not stop any information; even posts moderated to -1, or even those that the Slashdot employees have moderated lower in the past, are still accessable by anyone who desires to read them. Ironically, that universal accessibility is what Microsoft wants to prevent, not Slashdot.

I really hope some trained psychologist takes a look through Slashdot archives someday. There are a plethora of angry, immature individuals like yourself here with a long record of antisocial behavior that is analogous to the real juvenile delinquency increasing around the nation.

But enough feeding the trolls. I suspect you've already been moderated down as you should have been (and as I probably should be, unless "Funny" or "Insightful" cancels out "Offtopic"), and nobody will ever read this. There's just something about that combination of stupidity and arrogance that tweaks a nerve in me.

Re:Just in Case (3)

drix (4602) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074716)

Freenet [] is what you want...


Re:Net Worth of the 'Honchos' is of little concern (5)

Darchmare (5387) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074718)

Look at it this way. What is Microsoft's greatest asset other than its brand? Its people. The engineers who work there.

How does Microsoft keep them there? Stock options, mostly. The pay is decent, but the main draw is a chunk of the company that is always going up.

What happens when the stock is wounded? People leave. As simple as that. There are tons of other companies out there who would love to have Microsoft's talent (and yes, even though they make a lot of shitty products, the engineers are usually not to blame in the end). By wounding their stock price, you deal a blow far greater than a perceived drop in faith in Microsoft's stock.

- Jeff A. Campbell
- VelociNews ( [] )

A trap (1)

evonski (7127) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074726)

This whole issue stinks. M$ posts a "trade secret" to the web. They supposely "make" you agree to a NDA, which is very easily not to agree to and still see the "trade secret". Then they let their lawyers loose on the first person who does this(/.). Doesn't this sound like a set-up. Courts all ready ruled you can not entrap someone(ie. stick a $100 bill on the sidewalk and prosecute the first peson who grabs it for robery). Why would this be different


Kudos (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074727)

Thanks for actually looking into standing up to them - most people have neither the resources, will, or wherewithall to do so. Secondly, I agree completely - Microsoft by and far consists of computer geeks, just like us. It is management you must be wary of.

Third, should slashdot decide the odds are legally against them on this and back down, I won't fault you for it - you gave it a good, hard look. Last, while you are fighting censorship against you, don't forget that it is a two-sided sword - do not censor people here on slashdot, lest ye be considered hypocritical.

All Funny Quotes from the same section... (5)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074728)

There's one last point about Kerberos that's worth addressing: why did Microsoft bother with it? In previous versions of Windows NT, network authentication was handled by NTLM. Why make a change? How is Kerberos better than NTLM?

There are several answers. First, as you've already seen, Kerberos provides several features that aren't available in NTLM. Delegation and mutual authentication are both available with Kerberos, but neither is possible with NTLM today. Also, Kerberos is typically faster than NTLM, since each NTLM client authentication requires a server to contact a domain controller. In Kerberos, by contrast, a client can supply the same ticket over and over, and the server can use just that ticket to authenticate the user. There's no need for the server to contact a domain controller each time a user needs to be authenticated. And finally, Kerberos is a multivendor standard, so it allows secure interoperability and the potential for single sign-on between the Microsoft world and other vendor environments.

Any way you look it, Kerberos qualifies as progress. It's nice to see this powerful, secure, but long-neglected protocol move into the limelight. After years of languishing in relative obscurity, Kerberos is about to go mainstream.

This is from the above referenced URL at msj/0899/kerberos/kerberostop.htm. [] Let's take a look, shall we?

Kerberos is a multivendor standard, so it allows secure interoperability and the potential for single sign-on between the Microsoft world and other vendor environments.

Actually, from what I've seen, The Microsoft 'version' of Kerberos doesn't allow interoperability "between" Microsoft and other only allows operability from Microsoft OUT to other vendors, and not IN. (This was plugged into their crappy 'enhancements' to Kerberos.)

After years of languishing in relative obscurity, Kerberos is about to go mainstream.

What? There are two points to be made here. 1.) Kerberos was never really in obscurity. It was a widely used protocol, and was CREATED for the purpose of authentication. NTLM was a piece of crap, and Microsoft admits that now. 2.) Because Kerberos is being woven into Windows, THAT makes it mainstream? Oh please, give me a break. What's funny, is that Microsoft states that "Any way you look at it, Kerberos qualifies as progress.", yet their implementation (If you can call it that) takes a step backward by locking out functionality. Progress? Nah...

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

Re:Copyright *is* a free speech issue (2)

philg (8939) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074729)

It's probably more accurate to say that the government is an agent of the companies. Certainly, using dollars to buy votes is the most effective way to win elections in America, so money is power over politics, and the only entities able to give virtually unlimited monies to candidates are corporate bodies or the interest groups funded by them.

Incidentally, anyone who doesn't like the above paragraph can help change its truth value by

  • always voting
  • rejecting any overmarketed candidate out of hand as corrupt (inasmuch as this is possible)
  • educating oneself on issues from mainstream, niche and foreign media as well as direct evidence -- IOW, not blindly trusting the media machine run by the same people who back candidates.

Ever the rabble-rowser...

Re:MS and slashdot problems? (2)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074730)

Slashdot has also been the recipient of multiple DDoS attacks in the last few days. THis is the main reason for the problems.

Re:Just my own opinion.. (2)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074731)

Do you relaize that only a very few of allll of the comments posted have anything to do with the full code for the specification?? eveything else is simply in regards to it, or how to get it...

And that is the scary part, because to even think of forcing the removal of content like that is a broad overinterpretation fo the DMCA and a blatant attack on free speach.

Read the comments they listed.. then see if you feel the same.

Copyright (2)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074732)

Richard Stallman had some good things to say about copyrights in general in the May issue of Technogloy Reveiw.

The article is on page 32 title Freedom - or Copyright?

Some good quotes:

"Once upon a time, in the age of the printing press, an industrial regulation was established for the business of writing and publishing. It was called copyright. Copyright's purpose was to encourage the publication of a diversity of written works. Copyrights method was to make publishers get permission from authors to reprint recent writings."

Times have changed, and now copyright is the bludgening tool used by large corporations to control information in a way most profitable and advantageous to them. Microsoft has taken this to an art.

With new powers to enforce and further restrict users of copyrioghted works and not the intedned publishers of copyright we are now entering a new era of repression and control by these large greedy entities.

Take a deep breath and look at the changes over the last 100 years or so.. Microsoft is undeniably abusing the DMCA and copyright to prevent the dissemination of information they would prefer to keep secret for technical advantage over competitors.


This should not be tolerated, and the DMCA should be challenged, perhaps even to the supreme court, as it has proven to be the most powerful threat to freedom in recent years...

just my 0.02$

Re:*rolls eyes* (2)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074746)

It's worth fighting because before the DMCA, only a Court could go around ordering people to remove stuff.

Before the DMCA, the worst-case scenario would be that MS would take /. to court and force them to remove the posts.

The whole *point* of copyright law is to protect the financial interests of the owner. If I write a book, only I am have a *right* to profit off of it. MicroSoft isn't selling their specs, they're giving them away. Nor is /. charging to view the comments. Neither side is losing any money over this. Before the DMCA, a Court (and only a Court) could have ordered the posts removed, and only after due process. Now, thanks to the DMCA, /. can be held financially liable and is presumed guilty simply because MS said so.

I think /. should fight this in court. They should expect to lose and have to remove the copyrighted material (but not the links or WinZip suggestions), but they also stand a chance to strike down the DMCA and its chilling effects on freedom of speech and perversion of burden of proof.

Re:MS and slashdot problems? (2)

Pliny (12671) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074752)

Earlier today, when I had trouble with accessing slashdot, I killed my cookie and remade it... Fixed my problems...

Re:Let's get this straight (1)

JamesKPolk (13313) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074756)

Actually, one of the posts very blatantly violates Microsoft's copyright.

While most of the posts in question just quote portions, or don't quote the documents at all.. one of the posts reproduces a whole document verbatim, including Microsoft's copyright notice!

Re:Good luck (1)

warpeightbot (19472) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074766)

On behalf of all Slashdot readers, I wish you good luck, and I hope that you beat those a$$holes.
And if you don't... I say storm the castle.

I don't know which Bill's heavy handed tactics I'm sicker of, but the one that lives in Redmond has just hit somebody close to home.... and lives within an hour's driving distance of me. And doesn't have Secret Service agents guarding his body. Elian was an outrage. Waco even more so. But I read Slashdot every day. If this site is "stuff that matters", if it matters to us... this cause is uniquely ours.

Remember, folks, Roblimo specifically said, anything short of a tac nuke. Let the legal system have its say.... but if what it says is against the cause of free speech, that which is an unalienable right which neither man nor Borg can take, then I say we, the people, use whatever means is necessary to defend that right, and take it back.

My LAN is Microsoft and Intel-free.

Semi-dirty tricks to consider (5)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074771)

I know I'm probably not the first person to think of this, but I want to post it anyway:

Even thought Slashdot/Andover is obviously on the side of right here, you may well lose a long and protracted legal battle. Andover IPO money is great, but Microsoft has misplaced more cash than that. Lawyers cost money and good lawyers cost a LOT of money.

My suggestion- kick them in the PR department. MS has been hit with a tsunami of bad press lately with DOJ rulings, security holes, and general bastardness. Reporters would love to follow those stories up with "Microsoft subverts standards and strongarms little guys". What Roblimo and the crew need to do is run to every media outlet that will listen to them. Also, strike while the iron is hot. The top of the list needs to be The Wall Street Journal. If Monday's front page includes a story about this situation, it would be very damaging. If one mutual fund manager reads about this and says to himself "These are the actions of a company grasping at straws to keep themselves on top of an industry" and sells a ton of MSFT, it's going to put a dent into the net worth of every honcho in Redmond.
Bottom line: Roblimo needs to make this into a battle that Microsoft has no interest in continuing.

Keep fighting the good fight.


Re:Semi-dirty tricks to consider (2)

plunge (27239) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074779)

The Wall Street Journal is probably not going to criticize a big company, even in an unbiased news report. And the editorial staff, all arch-corporate conservative as it is, would NEVER print something even slightly suggested that the free market activity of a company would be wrong.

Re:to all you anti-corp people (1)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074784)

The devil's advocate reply to this is if it were not for slash being acquired by Andover/VA Linux, Microsoft may not have cared. Why? Figure that since a recently-gone-public corp might be queasy about taking on Microsoft and perhaps Microsoft miscalculated that VA mgmt would cave and pull the posts rather than risk an expensive and disruptive legal battle.

I submit that it might be exactly because slashdot is now owned by a public company that Microsoft chose to make a public stand by demanding that the 'infringing' material and posts be removed.

What real benefit does Microsoft hope to gain? They can't really think that getting a few posts removed is really going to hide their spec, or stop anyone from finding out how to get around the EULA? No, I figure that they wanted to make a public point, and were counting on VA rolling over.

(too bad my posts default to -1; no one will ever see this :( )

Re:*rolls eyes* (1)

JatTDB (29747) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074787)

I don't think anyone forces you to read any particular article on Slashdot.

Re:It could happen... (1)

Ozric (30691) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074788)

That is not the point. I for one am pissed that they SPENT my TAX MONEY at MIT making Kerberos and MSFT takes OUR STUFF that WE FUNDED,CHANGED IT and called it their own. THIS IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. If nothing less the FEDS should MANDATE that MSFT stop calling it Kerberos or Pay back the grant and release the specs.

Re:*rolls eyes* (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074801)

EULA != GPL. have you bothered reading a EULA lately ? it allows the company to do virtually *anthing* to your machine, your data and whatever files are on your harddrive. EULAs *are* ridiculous and should be shot down. any other industry trying to pull this sort of thing would get hit with class action lawsuits in a day.

Re:Semi-dirty tricks to consider (1)

vividan (38749) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074802)

My suggestion- kick them in the PR department. MS has been hit with a tsunami of bad press lately with DOJ rulings, security holes, and general bastardness. Reporters would love to follow those stories up with "Microsoft subverts standards and strongarms little guys". What Roblimo and the crew need to do is run to every media outlet that will listen to them. Also, strike while the iron is hot. The top of the list needs to be The Wall Street Journal. If Monday's front page includes a story about this situation, it would be very damaging. If one mutual fund manager reads about this and says to himself "These are the actions of a company grasping at straws to keep themselves on top of an industry" and sells a ton of MSFT, it's going to put a dent into the net worth of every honcho in Redmond.

That sounds like a good idea, exept that MS is the master of PR. You sugjest making it a PR battle, and that is what MS does best. Why not let it go to court? They have shown before (in the DOJ case) that they are incompetant in court :)

Chris C.

marketing!! (1)

gadwale (46632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074809)

This is such a marketing gimmick! I read the front page.. I think cool! update! I click ... I wait .. wait .. wait and the page says 'sorry I can't tell you more'!!

OK; can you talk about the alleged DDOS?

Re:what a load of crap (1)

NtG (61481) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074830)

You're an idiot. A software programmer for Microsoft is no different to a software programmer for any other company. THEY didn't write an entire product, they contributed to it. A programmer writing database functions into a Microsoft app will be writing something very similar to someone working for any other company developing on the Windows platform using database functions. Why the fuck should they quit a job in which they get good pay, great benefits and job security because some other wing of their HUGE corporation is doing something they don't agree with. Fuck, if I did that every time I didn't agree with a management decision I would be collecting your tax dollars on welfare for life. Maybe you should consider that with the power and money they have, Microsoft would probabely be THE BEST environment in which to work in.

Never answer email containing legal threats (3)

Get Behind the Mule (61986) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074832)

This is really a side issue to much more important topic, but I've always felt very strongly about this: Sending any kind of legal communication over an insecure medium such as email is intolerable, and there is no reason at all for the receiver to acknowledge its existence. If you send an email, it may or may not arrive on the other end; how can you ever know that it hasn't fallen into the bit bucket? Only if the recipient sends a reply (and even then, you can't be sure if it was really from the recipient).

Moreover, how can you know that an email is really from somebody in someone's legal department? Just because they say so? How many Slashdotter's know how to forge an email so that it looks like it came from a M$ lawyer?

My advice is: Set up your email client so that it does not honor requests for receipts, at least not automatically; and if you receive a legal threat by email, delete it securely, using something like the PGP wipe feature, and forget about it. Of course, you might be tempted to save a copy, but if you're ever asked about that under oath, you'll have to admit you have it and produce it, or risk an obstruction charge. Proceed at your own risk.

(I suppose you are obstructing if you claim never to have received the mail, but if you're really careful about secure deletion, such a charge can never be proved.)

If your antagonists really want to sue you that badly, they'll get around to certified snail mail soon enough. But let 'em sweat it out waiting for a reply and wondering what the hell's taking so long.

To be sure, Slashdot's confrontation with M$ would have proceeded on the dead tree medium sooner or later, and the exchange of paper wouldn't have changed very much about the essential issues. But Roblimo could have bought himself a couple days to cool heads at Slashdot and talk to the lawyers, while the M$ lawyers would have been essentially idle, sitting expectantly in front of their Outlook clients and gradually losing their patience.

Keep it up! (1)

agramata (62255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074833)

Thanks for the update guys....we (the majority of the /. readers) appreciate it. We wish you the best in fighting the (soon-to-be-separated) Evil Empire. Keep up the good work!

Re:It could happen... (2)

treke (62626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074836)

You know the story.... IANAL

This seems like a bad idea. Everyone should get themselves a copy, but do not post it! had a big enough problem right now dealing with Microsoft, and this might be taken as a hostile move if this goes to court. Let the lawyers work without outside complications. If MS wins, then it might be a good idea, although posting it on Slashdot could show a willful disregard for the ruling by the Judge. Maybe it could be posted to relevant news groups. Let's wait while professionals think this through, MS may still back down.

Well, it SHOULD (1)

satanic bunny (69378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074841)

Let's hope you are one of a LOT of people. But it's pretty hard to have much sympathy with the theory that "there are probably nice people there too" when you live near enough MS to see every day just how deleterious MS culture has been for the last ten years. It has virally infected the value systems, judgments and attitudes towards genuine creativity held by almost every 'nice-type' person who was associated with it has leached into the surrounding community (and, to a large degree, the whole country) a sense of free-floating greed and envy which just isn't very attractive.

Outside of this, of course, there are all the bad THINGS they've DONE. Rock on, DOJ! And...Give 'em PR hell, /.

Hi Bill!. (1)

satanic bunny (69378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074842)

Seems the MS "grassroots campaign" is still alive and well

No arguement (1)

yetisalmon (70744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074844)

There's not alot Microsoft can do to make you guys remove "comments" from other people. Comments are just a way of communication. If people were talking about Kerberos in a cafe, Microsoft wouldnt ask them to be quiet(or would they? hehe). The only difference is that these conversations are logged so people can still read them. If microsoft won, and slashdot removed the comments, that would be going against the freedom to speak and think. I do not understand how they can do this, since slashdot is not responsible for any of the readers' actions.

two issues (2)

Zueski (72292) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074847)

I see two issues here.
1. Microsoft owns the copyright on the single comment posted
I agree that they should have the right to request that a web site take down the copyrighted material.
2. Does Microsoft actually own the copyright on the document?
I don't believe they have the right to copyright a slight modification of an industry standard protocall, especially when they limit functionality and don't extend it, and just handing it out on the web is not anyway to keep a trade secret.

Now, by releasing the source in a "protected" form, they prevent any one from reverse-engineering it legally and have the option to prosecute when somebody comes out with a product that can hook into it, such as Samba.
seems like a load of shit to me

I'm under an NDA (1)

Shook (75517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074851)

All these years, I've read from these hardware sites saying "We can't discuss 3dfx's new hardware because we're under a Non-Disclosure Agreement."
It sounded so cool, so mysterious.

Now, after reading the Kerberos specs, I'm finally under an NDA. Don't ask me about what I read. I can't tell you.

Copyright *is* a free speech issue (5)

reptilian (75755) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074852)

I apologize if this doesn't sound very coherent, as I'm having a bad day.

With strict copyright laws, congress is indirectly legislating censorship of the people. By strengthening copyright, companies are able to use legal means to censor anyone they wish, be it other companies, competitors, or consumers. While congress wasn't actively attempting to legislate censorship, inadvertantly they have, to the advantage of corporations who it can now be argued are agents of the government.

That last statement might seem a little strange, so bear with me. It is in the best interests of the government for its companies to do well, to strengthen the economy and keep it strong. They are essentially employing the companies to remain profitable, which they do by censoring others using copyright laws.

Anyway, I'm not against intellectual property; what I *AM* against is congress' obsession with 'protecting' the rights of corporations regardless of the consequences on people's rights. I don't have a problem with copyright per se, but excessive protection of intellectual property is in my opinion unconstitutional: laws passed for a purpose that is not censorhip, and inadvertantly cause censorhip, *are* unconstitutional. The courts have ruled this way before. Government mandated "ratings" on speech are a form of censorship, and aren't tolerated, so it shouldn't be much of a stretch to say government delegated protections on property that promote censorhip are too unconstitutional.

It's Raining Lawyers (1)

Oppressor (79526) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074856)

Knock these guys down, knock them down hard...

The thought of a world where one can take an open API like OpenGL, change the syntax of a couple procedure calls, and retitle the thing a proprietary trade secret is a dangerous and destructive concept. Only a lawyer could come up with something that clueless. Unfortunately, it's going to take more lawyers can clean up the mess.

In my dealings with Microsoft, I have never met anyone braindead enough to agree with the concept.
Quite the contrary in fact. This incident tops even Intel's threatening antics towards Thomas Pabst a few year's back over his Pentium II benchmarks.

Suits, gotta love 'em, no wait, no you don't...

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (1)

fougasse (79656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074858)

Of course it's a monopolistic ploy! Never argued against that -- it's designed to prevent third parties from being able to use their extensions.

However, monopolistic ploy or not, you still can't claim that reproducing copyright documents (their copyright here isn't in any sort of doubt) is freedom of speech.

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (2)

fougasse (79656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074861)

Even after all the hot water the boys in Redmond have been in recently, why do they STILL persist in engaging in various types of manipulation of questionable legality?

Requesting that your copyrighted work isn't copied and posted all over a public forum without your permission is "manipulation of questionable legality"? Being banned from selling bootlegs of a movie outside the theater is "of questionable legality"?

OK, asking that the posts about using Winzip to open the file be removed is questionable. But many of their claims make perfect sense.

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (5)

fougasse (79656) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074863)

First, we're not dealing with reverse-engineering here. I'm not sure of the legality here, but it certainly should be legal. We're dealing with copying a copyrighted document.

The Kerberos spec includes empty fields for vendor use. Microsoft used one of these fields; they have no obligation to make info on their use of it public. Yes, it's against the spirit of cooperation, but did you honestly think that Microsoft was a believer in cooperation? I don't think that it's a good or smart move by Microsoft, but in comparison it's not all that evil. It's similar to taking BSD-licensed software and releasing a proprietary modified binary of it. Not great, but not satanic.

Anyway, whether or not what Microsoft did is compatible with open-source ideals has nothing to do with reproducing it illegally. If I believe in open source and get my hands on the MS Office source code, I can't distribute the source code openly. Or, conversely, if I believe in closed source, I can't sell binary-only copies of modified GPL software.

Re:what a load of crap (1)

Zach (79700) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074864)

I think it'd be much wiser and beneficial to the world to have someone working for Microsoft, then not working at all. If a 'geek' wasn't working for MS, he'd have more spare time on his hands... time that could be used to do malicious things. Didn't you ever hear the phrase - "idle hands are the devil's work?" Having someone, anyone, working is better than having them unemployed on the street or clogging our already pathetic welfare system.

Good luck (2)

Super_Frosty (82232) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074866)

On behalf of all Slashdot readers, I wish you good luck, and I hope that you beat those a$$holes.

If you lose, I'll boycott Microsoft for eternity. And, if you win... I think I will anyway. :)

Please keep us updated!

Net Worth of the 'Honchos' is of little concern... (2)

Speare (84249) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074874)

Bill Gates has often dismissed his wealth, calling it infinite in practical terms since he'd never be able to spend it all. He also points out that it's only when you take these paper stock options and multiply it out, that you get this huge scary number. He could lose 80% of all his "net worth" tomorrow and still not have a change in his standard of living.

While I think Microsoft or any other company needs to be taken back a notch whenever the company transgresses the larger good, I do not think that stock price is a good target.

I've worked for several good companies. I've worked for several bad companies. I know that there are hundreds, thousands, even millions of people who are working, ethically, in companies of all flavors. Affecting their net worth by 80% downward means that ramen noodles and broth is for dinner.

Everyone who invests knows that there's a time to leave a stock. If I thought that the majority of Microsoft was doing the wrong thing, I'd sell, not sell out. Those who invest their paychecks into their employers' ESPPs and 401k's, well, they want their company to succeed. "Roblimo" was right, there are a lot of very good people at Microsoft. They pay local taxes, they start non-profit organizations to support their communities, they spend NASDAQ:MSFT short-term and long-term capital gains on their fellow Seattlite and American friends and families.

Lastly, many current advice-givers see NASDAQ:MSFT as a "buy," because it's got lots of products coming up, it's a political, financial and technical leader (whether you like it or not), and it's near its 52-week low.

Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (5)

Tailchaser (86476) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074885)

Even after all the hot water the boys in Redmond have been in recently, why do they STILL persist in engaging in various types of manipulation of questionable legality? One would think they would think twice and three times about any moves they would make at this point.

I have to admit, I also wonder about the intelligence involved in putting up confidential material on the Web and then getting their knickers in a twist when it's spilled to the masses. Besides, this is basic 'trade secret' law. If you don't want it on the front page of the Sunday paper, DON'T put it on the Web, encrypted or not! If this was really a 'trade secret' (as opposed to simple 'intellectual property'), then don't they have the responsibility not to hang it out in the wind for all and sundry? Seems to me, they were setting themselves up for this one.


Re:Just my own opinion.. (1)

linuxonceleron (87032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074886)

The BSD license isn't viral like the GPL is. Under BSD style license, a commercial company can take code, change it, and put a proprietery/commercial license. There's several versions of Apache with SSL,etc. added that are commercial products with commercial licenses. While posting "you can use winzip to get around their self extractor" isn't a problem from what I believe, posting their code in a public forum without their license attached is *wrong*. Just because this is MSFT we're talking about doesn't mean that they don't deserve the same respect you would give to any other company. For the record, I don't use any Microsoft software on my workstation, but I don't see why you people think its OK to break the law 'because microsoft is evil'. The law is the law, If you beat a satan-worshiper over the head and kill him, you have still commited murder, even though the person may be 'evil'. Its the same thing posting microsoft's code, though they may be 'evil', breaking the law is breaking the law, nothing more, nothing less.

Re:No arguement (1)

linuxonceleron (87032) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074887)

Free Speach? What's that? If you haven't noticed, Free Speach in America is a joke. I can't speak my mind in school for fear of punishment. If I recite the MSFT kerberos information in a public place, I'd be arrested for copyright infringment. What has this country come to when the RIAA and MPAA, etc. are now a major part of our country's law system. This case is a major test for the DMCA, and I hope that slashdot is able to get to keep the comments. Anyone know of any truly free, english speaking country?

Unfortunately... (1)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074893)

... it's really not an issue of free speech since the situation is dealing with copyrighted material, which seems to override free speech issues.

Slashdot's best hope here is to overturn the DMCA -- but eventually they will have to take down the posts that display copyrighted material because /. is an ISP. Really, think about it: even though "comments are owned by the poster" they are still hosted by -- just like any ISP.

Obviously, Microsoft is being stupid by this (why not build the license into the executable?, why try to semi-publish the specs?) but in the end, hosting copyrighted material will never stand up in the courts. I'd say they have a good chance of maintaining posts with links tho... the EFF would likely be able to help with that.


Re:what a load of crap (1)

para_droid (92566) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074896)

If a 'geek' wasn't working for MS, he'd have more spare time on his hands... time that could be used to do malicious things
Malicious things such as writing free software thereby contributing to the good of the community you mean?

Abashed the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is

This has changed my mind about Microsoft (2)

sansbury (97480) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074899)

I used to take a very laissez-faire attitude towards MS, but this has changed my mind.

It is now quite clear to me that the arrogance of this company knows absolutely no bounds, and deserves whatever it gets.


Re:Semi-dirty tricks to consider (1)

jareds (100340) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074902)

First, I wouldn't really say that Andover IPO money is 'great,' seeing as the ipo price was 18 dollars and it's been trading in about the 15-17 dollar range.

The current trading price has no relevance to how much money Andover got from the IPO. Andover got $18*(however many shares they sold in the IPO) and they get to keep that cash no matter what happens to Andover's market value.

ACLU? (3)

Nicholas Vining (104178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074915)

A thought. You may wish to get in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union, if you haven't already; also, possibly the EFF. Both are excellent organizations who spend a lot of time dealing with this sort of stuff, and can also probably recommend additional routes and options (while you're thinking)

We're all behind you, guys. Keep us posted.


Re:Good luck (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074918)

Actually, the guy said "On behalf of all Slashdot readers i wish you luck.

Can we assume you don't wish Slashdot luck and would rather have them whooped in court? In which case, what are you doing here dude?

Re:let me know if you need any help (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074919)

Yup. I would quiet happily donate a weeks wages (~£270) to a defence fund, if one were needed....

However I have a feeling VA have plenty of cash for a good lawyer, and Slashdot have a good defence :)

Re:Let's get this straight (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074920)

Um, i seem to remember saying exactly that in my original post. Like i said, the breach of copyright is not an issue at all.

Re:I'm under an NDA (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074921)

I was going to post here some instructions on how to get around the EULA. But i shan't because it wouldn't be fair on Slashdot at the moment. My post has been effectivly censored by Microsoft/the DMCA.

Re:I hope Microsoft sues you fools (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074922)

Oh, and if you moderate this down, it will be proof that you nazis...

I'm invoking Godwins law. Discusion over.

Let's get this straight (2)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074923)

O.K, i want people to understand whats happening before i see any more posts that state "The posts contained copyright information so Microsoft are right"

Yes, some of the posts did contain information copied directly from the Microsoft document. This is wrong, it clearly violates copyright law. This is also not the problem.

The list of posts Microsoft suplied included a number of posts that gave some simple instructions that basically said you could avoid the EULA by using a standard ZIP utility such as WinZIP. Other posts gave links to sites where the document could be downloaded without having to go throught the EULA.

If you think real hard now, you can see that the posts that Microsoft are asking to be removed do not infringe on Microsofts copyright. The other posts are in fact covered by the freedom of speech and freedom of expresion. Microsoft have no right to challenge the legality of these posts.

This is why Microsoft is so utterly morally wrong in it's request to censor Slashdot.

*rolls eyes* (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074924)

Why in the heck does this need to become such a holy war? Much like the RIAA problems, is this something I'm gonna have to read "features" on for the next four months as they try to keep slashdot readers all riled up and angry?

Yes, some of M$'s requests were unreasonable. But not all of them. On, in that original thread, someone posted the source code M$ has a copyright for.

The license agreement, whether someone didn't read it due to using Winzip, or read it and ignored it, is still there. You can't get around that.

Just remove the source code, and you're in the clear. I don't see why this requires lawyers to understand.

But then, there always is that clause about human behavior that says we're required to make as much noise as we can about anything, whenever we can. Controversy is fun!

Re:to all you anti-corp people (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074930)

Eek, you've figured me out!

No, I'm not a Dr... it's just part of the handle. It used to be just 'Eldarion' but... I'm sure you don't care why, just someone called me Dr. once, and the name stuck.

I'm actually just some college kid out in suburbia, Illinois.

-- (not actually a) Dr. Eldarion --
It's not what it is, it's something else.

to all you anti-corp people (5)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074931)

... who complained when /. got bought by Andover, this should go to show you that it's not necessarily a bad thing. Had they not been, the resources most likely wouldn't be there to fight MS, and we'd probably have to just give in.

Way to go, guys. Keep fighting this.

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

free speech == internet posts (1)

xDroid (115379) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074932)

The free exchange of ideas is the most important freedom in the world!
  • The internet was created for the free exchange of scientific papers (read ideas).
  • Newgroups, UseNet, and Slashdot type public forum sites are the lifeblood of the internet.
  • Quashing a public site for posting comments (read ideas) is an abomination.
  • I owe my career to the information on the internet. Programming languages, Help!, and Tutorials.
  • Microsoft should go after the posters instead of slashdot (or any other site).
  • I have worked for some of the most influential companies in the world.
  • I have had to sign many non-disclosure agreements.
  • I have never broken one of those agreements. (not even as a AC).
  • Richard Stallman is right about freedom in computing.
  • I want to choose.
  • I choose to post.
  • I choose to give my opinion.
  • I choose freedom.
-- Andy Wergedal

Re:Well Said (1)

Believe (124651) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074936)

Yeah, but the reason those nice people don't have BG's job is that nice people don't make businesses as successful as M$. It takes a real bastard to do the kinds of things necessary to make a business go from being merely successful into the realm of history making.

Once you have gotten to a certain point in business, the only way to go farther is to destroy the competition by any means necessary. Nice people can't/won't take those final steps, and those who will eventually beat them out.

Re:Good luck (2)

medicthree (125112) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074938)

Can we please refrain from the "on behalf of all Slashdot readers" crap? I can't see how you can possibly think that you speak for all slashdot readers. You don't. I for one, think that there are a few of those posts that deserve to be taken down. If you'll refer back to the original story, another poster made the same assinine comment that he was speaking for all slashdot readers, and he got a number of responses assuring him that he wasn't. Making generalizations like you just did serves no purpose other than making you look like an ass.

Re:marketing!! (4)

medicthree (125112) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074939)

Just so you know, it's no longer 'alleged.' He didn't give much info, but roblimo confirmed the rumors here [] .

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (3)

Gogl (125883) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074945)

Well I'll tell you why they're still trying:

Yes, it's true that us geeks and most other people who know much about computers have a relatively low opinion of Microsoft. Yes, we likely have the mass of evidence on our side, like the fact that MS products generally suck, and the fact that the only thing they've innovated in MS Bob (I've actually looked into that. MS-DOS was bought, Windows was stolen/copied, and before each of the MS Office programs there were already word processors, spreadsheeters, and presentation programs. Before IE was Netscape, etc...).

But here's the problem: a lot of the world DOESN'T know or agree with all of this. You might ask why. Well here's why: we take the fact that Microsoft is so evil as such an obvious thing that we rant and rave about it, make all sorts of assumptions that may be largely true but are nonetheless assumptions. And whenever anybody other then our little group sees these rants, it discredits us rather then discrediting MS.

I have been involved in this whole net and computer community thing for quite some time, and I have yet to seen a rational, sane explanation of why MS sucks. Honest to god. Period.

I'll give you a case in point: I have a friend, who will go unnamed, who is relatively smart and such, and knows a thing or two about computers. This friend of mine has the natural AOL-hating gene that most everybody has, and is really no idiot. And they see absolutely no reason to abandon Microsoft and Windows, etc.

Why? Well the answer is simple: from my friends perspective, MS does what she needs. It's the only thing she's ever used, so she takes the crashes as part of daily life on computers. She has seen and heard rants about MS sucking and Linux being a better alternative to Windows, and doesn't buy them because they ARE so ranty.

So what do we need to do? We need to allow the rest of the world to realize that MS isn't that great, and we need to do it in a sane, un-ranty way. How? I don't know. But I need to go anyway, and thanks for reading this long post.

Catching up & Letter to Editor (3)

KiboMaster (129566) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074949)

I've been away for a while and havn't had much time to read slashdot. I'm just catching up on what's going on with Microsoft vs. Slashdot.

I read the Washington Post [] article a few minutes ago and e-mailed this letter to the editor:

I am writing this in response to your recent article Microsoft, Slashdot exchange volleys []

As a very active Slashdot user I take offense to your calling Slashdot a "online clubhouse for Microsoft haters" I do think that the majority of Slashdot users dislike Microsoft however, I'd like to believe that most of Slashdot's user base don't go around spouting anti-Microsoft sentiment. There are a few users who do go around spreading Microsoft hatred, but most of those are moderated down because of flamebait. Most people take up a devil's advocate position on anything Microsoft related.

Even though I think Microsoft is a Monopoly and has set the computer industry back several years. I still believe they have the right to exist. We cannot deny them that right.

A quote that I see quite often in Slashdotter's posts is: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend you till death for your right to say it."

Slashdot is a diverse on-line community, made up of people from many different backgrounds. Every user has his or her own opinion on Microsoft or any number of subjects discussed on Slashdot.

NO! absoultly not. (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074959)

Please Robin, I beg of you, don't give into Microsoft. I realize that this is probably just a bit redundnet, but I just wanted to give you my support and say that I'm behind you (like most everyone else) in defending freedom on slashdot.

Re:Semi-dirty tricks to consider (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074960)

First, I wouldn't really say that Andover IPO money is 'great,' seeing as the ipo price was 18 dollars and it's been trading in about the 15-17 dollar range.

Two, I think that we, the slashdotters have been kicking them in the pr department quite a bit just in the last day or two. The thing I find most ammusing, of course, is the people in #slashdot on both slashnet and Open Projects allegating that Microsoft is behind the DoSs the last two days, even calling for a firewall filter against, and (they forgot, ms's empoyee inet division :)). So, with the press coverage of us from cnn and C|Net, I think we're doing pretty well in kicking MS in the pr dept.

Re:Even the MS managers aren't eeee-vil (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074961)

I know, it's really just a sensationalist media listening to some people on slashdot and other places saying that microsoft is evil. I'm no microsoft fan by any measure, but I don't really think that anyone there are really bad people. Everytime I've seen our friend billy he's seemed like a very nice person. Even when he's hanging around inner-city schools with people he's nothing like he's laughing and smiling, goofily albeit, but he seems like a nice enough guy to me. And so are the several Microsoft employees that I know and are friends with.

Re:I hope Microsoft sues you fools (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074962)

btw, larger audience doesn't necessarily mean it's a good site. Seventh Heaven anyone?

Re:Just my own opinion.. (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074963)

Isn't that exactly what happened with the publishing of Voices From the Hellmouth? Is there going to be a stream of class action law suits from Anonymous Coward, LLP or what? (I should point out that I'm not against the publishing of comments from the Hellmouth posts and am eagerly awaiting my copy from thinkgeek)

Re:Boycott Microsoft? (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074964)

Mass-Boycotts of major corporations usually get quite a bit of media coverage, possibly kicking the pr dept. of microsoft. and there are several slashdot readers who do use windows, and by choice (I recall someone on GiS saying they used windows and never crashed it). But the sensationalistic media would take the fact that 90 % of slashdot's 150k users use Linux or BSD or some unix and turn it into 'all of slashdot is made up of linux users that hate microsoft.' So: it probably wouldn't be taken seriously.

Re:Semi-dirty tricks to consider (1)

rwade (131726) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074965)

Oh! I'm sorry I thought he meant that it was good for the stock holders. Yes, I agree, good for Andover, about 72m gained when the ipo first came out. I'm pretty sure that it'll even make the stock holders a bit of cash when we come back into the 'linux is new and will shock everyone, sometime' stage again. :)

Re:Amazing that Microsoft is STILL trying... (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074968)

Maybe, but Microsoft's implementation of Kereberos extensions alone could arguably be another monopolistic ploy. I think the post you replied to simply meant Microsoft would be wiser to keep a low profile for now, instead of attacking a public forum. Not only have they shot themselves in the foot, now they've turned it into a media event the whole world will notice, all to protect information that has supposedly been "published" (snicker snicker).

Re:It could happen... (1)

roche (135922) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074972)

How could he sell it? He could easily. We have this thing in america, its called the stock market. Here people buy and sell stock. He would sell his stock here. Or, we also have something here in america called a corporate buyout. I am sure the are a ton of companies out there that would love to be the primary shareholder in MS. In a world where one can sell a empty box on ebay, saying no one would buy bill's MS stock is one of the most idiotic things I have heard in quite some time.

Re:*rolls eyes* (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074974)

There comes a time, when the people's interests are not best served by the law (because the select few people who made the laws are people with special interests in their minds). Now, when a collective group of people feels outraged by an abuse of the law, then something must be wrong with the law. This people obviously don't feel best served by the law. So, they, instead of roll over and let the law step over them, decides to make a case and demand that the laws are changed. Are they being "illegal"? Of course not, because these laws (i.e DMCA) are not permanent 10 Commandments handed down by Mr Moses* : they are changeable to serve an interest. That's how DMCA came into being in the first place : new law replace old law. Therefore, Slashdot has everyright to challenge these laws. One can either (a) side the law : yes M$ sucks, but they are right (b) watch and take no sides (c) side the people who wanted the law changed : M$ sucks, but DMCA allows them to step over people, so let's fight it. You may choose. But to say that "Controversy is Fun" is almost an insult to those people who believe in (c) strongly enough to stick their necks out and battle it out, risking damage. "to be honest mean telling everything you know about the subject and then letting somebody make up his own mind about it." R.P.Feynman

Re:Just my own opinion.. (1)

0x0000 (140863) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074976)

After all, they do own it.
I, too, have read many of the comments, and I have to disagree with the idea that M$ owns the documents in question.

If I download the linux kernel source, add some code, then repost it to the net with my own copyrights and EULA plastered all over it, I still do not own the code.

Perhaps you skipped the posts concerning the origins of the document M$ claims to own?

The remainder of M$'s allegations are obvious bullshit [see: freedom of speech, and united states of america].

In this instance, M$ are thieves trying use the law against their victims to cover up their crime.

"How many assertions does it take to make a fact?"

The Bright Side (1)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074994)

All this press may do a lot of good, for this issue and for geekdom in general.

First of all, there's a big PR factor here. Conventional news sources are reporting this story, so a lot of non-technical people will hear about it. Non-technical people are a big chunk of MS's customer base, so maybe MS will try to play nice.

As much as we rant and rave here, even when we're completely in the right (has that ever happened?), we end up preaching to the choir. With a little attention from mainstream media, we can get our message(s) out.

And perhaps a few "normal" people will visit Slashdot and see that the "evil hackers" have a few good points after all...

Dammit, my mom is not a Karma whore!

Just in Case (4)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074996)

I hate to be pessimistic, but...

Quick, somebody adapt the gnutella serverless network to a Slashdot-esque forum, just in case MS takes this to court and wins.

We could even have a wall-of-shame with the IP #s of trolls...

Dammit, my mom is not a Karma whore!

Even the MS managers aren't eeee-vil (5)

Trollusk (145659) | more than 14 years ago | (#1074997)

As one of those MS employees bothered by my employer's tactics in this whole ugly mess, I just wanted to throw in my two bits on why MS does dumb, heavy-handed stuff like this. It's not (most of the time) our managers who do nasty things like send out cease-and-desist letters or require massive EULAs. It's the lawyers, with their paranoid attitudes about the various kinds of trouble, real and phantom, they see us getting into if this-that-or-the-other loophole isn't closed and sealed up tight. The DOJ trial doesn't help matters: the lawyers can say "look what happened when you didn't listen to us last time!" and as a result, people are reluctant to stand up to the advice from Legal when that advice is along the lines of "you'll be at risk unless you treat this material as proprietary."

As for Kerberos, I don't know the details, but I'd guess it's very unlikely that Gates and Ballmer sat in a room cackling somewhere and decided to make a non-interoperable version. MS is too big and -- gasp -- has too many autonomous units doing their own thing for that image of complete totalitarian control to have all that much truth to it.

Personally, I work for a pretty damn ethical group. Where there are standards or standards drafts, we adhere to them. It's only where there aren't standards already coming along in the pipeline that we go our own way.

Re:Kudos (1)

moath (151844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075004)

"Third, should slashdot decide the odds are legally against them on this and back down, I won't fault you for it"

Hrmm. I'm sorry, but I don't really know if they hold your opinion high enough that if you DID fault them, they would care.
Please snap out of the god complex.

Besides that, good luck guys!

Re:This has changed my mind about Microsoft (1)

quickquack (152245) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075007)

Same here.
I own thousands of dollars of Microsoft products because they used to be high quality, effecient, and overall better than the other competing products.

Now, with the new IE Cookies bug, this, the DOJ ruling, how they couldn't answer my problem so I had to reformat, and many other instances of pure arrogance, I am going to be 100% Linux.

As of right now I tri-boot with Be, Mandrake Linux, and Win2kPro...but not only Be and Linux.
Why? I am just sick and tired of MS not caring about their customers and writing bad software at outrageous prices (MSOffice2kPro for ~650). See ya in Linux, Microsoft.

let me know if you need any help (2)

Sun Tsu (157367) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075020)

If you need a defence fund for lawer cost I will be willing to pitch in what I can and I hope others will as well. I know you all have a legal department and may not need money but I feel that I really would like to suport you all in any way possable Money or other wise. please do not hesatate to ask. GOOD LUCK Sun Tsu

Re:I hope Microsoft sues you fools (1)

Ingenium13 (162116) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075026)

If you seem to think Slashdot sucks so much, then why do you continue visiting it? I personally think Slashdot is one of (if not the best) site on the web.

It could happen... (2)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075030)

The posts that M$ wants removed can easily be copied into a small text file and mirrored all over diffrent sites (like DeCSS)! I say start a movement to do this, and put up a page of links where people can enter the URL of their mirror and eventually there would be thousands of copies spread all around the internet. It seems to be working for 2600 and the DeCSS movement.

...and if nothing else, atleast Bill Gates will lose some money paying lawyers to individually go to each website and threaten the admin. Just a thought.

First Amendment issues (1)

EricEldred (175470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075041)

Among the news sources refraining so far from comment is The New York Times [] .

I'm sorry to see The Times and The Washington Post failing to jump to the defense of a news publisher such as /. and informing their readers that this is a First Amendment issue where a large corporation is attempting to use copyright law to protect alleged trade secrets, promote a monopoly in network servers, and suppress free discussion online in /. and other fora of what is happening.

When can we expect to see some front-page news on this First Amendment issue? (I assume it is not because they didn't hear about it or don't know who to ask to learn the facts.)

Re:Let's get this straight (4)

EricEldred (175470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075048)

Actually, one of the posts very blatantly violates Microsoft's copyright.

Actually, it is an interesting legal question as to whether this is true, and I hope it is addressed by a judge. I hope the poster of the entire document steps forward and appeals any decision to remove that post, and fights in court (with our help) this blatant censorship attempt.

It is not illegal to distribute a copy of a copyrighted document if the license that comes with the document specifically allows this (as, for example, the GPL does, and, furthermore, the EULA here does, for purposes of security analysis).

Next, it is not clear whether the alleged copyright is of a PUBLISHED work or an UNPUBLISHED work. The treatment of each is different under the law (the former is allowed more fair use). The letter from Microsoft does not clarify this point, but one might infer from the document itself that it claims to contain trade secrets and thus is UNPUBLISHED, while the fact that it is openly available on the web would indicate that it is a PUBLISHED work. I hope that a judge will find that Microsoft intended this work as unpublished, but because of poor legal advice, posted it as published, and therefore the DMCA does not apply.

Next, it is not clear just what Microsoft claims is covered by its alleged copyright. If it is the Kerberos spec itself, that is copyright MIT, and any later changes to the spec are not necessarily covered by copyright unless they are sufficiently original creative expressions. The document itself only contains arbitrary API data and references to mathematical algorithms--can they truly be protected? Can Microsoft enforce a patent on cascading style sheets if it participates in standards setting with other corporations on this very subject? It is possible that this case might have to be joined with the antitrust case under expedited review so a new remedy is found before appeal of the antitrust case.

Copyright is not an absolute natural right. It has to give way in cases where it is abused by monopolists convicted of antitrust offenses--and guess who that might be here? Kerberos is an open standard that Microsoft appears to be trying to take over for its own monopoly purposes of excluding competition in the network server market. Any attempts to privatize this open standard can been seen as monopolistic and thus not covered by standard intellectual property claims.

If you agree that posters to /. have the right to discuss this whole affair, how is it possible to exclude them from discussing the very document itself and referring to it? And what better way is there, than to post the entire document, or to make a deep link directly to it?

Consider that if Microsoft prevails here, /. will have to monitor all postings and censor them. And /. might have to abolish anonymous postings to comply with Microsoft's demands. Such actions would definitely impede free speech on /. and impose on our First Amendment rights. A judge needs to consider these points under heightened First Amendment scrutiny and not just accept Microsoft's prima facie claim of copyright under the DMCA. (If she does, then the DMCA itself might be overturned.)

Re:Catching up & Letter to Editor (1)

swinge (176850) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075054)

Your letter is downright dippy. The people who work at the Washington Post will not have a clue what you mean by "flamebait". And that bit about "defend till the death..." Yow! I didn't think anything could look more pretentious than using that quote, but I think you pulled it off :) I'm not flaming you, just trying to get you to defend me till death.

Re:Just my own opinion.. (1)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075061)

heh- from what I understand, MICROS~1 only added a few 'extensions' to code that was originally published and written with the BSD license, by somebody other then MICROS~1.
So mostly, they hijacked it.
New names - MICROS~1 and MICROS~2.

Re:Good luck (2)

Oarboat_7 (179743) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075062)

On behalf of all Slashdot readers?

Shouldn't you speak for yourself?

What if I said "On behalf of all Slashdot readers, I hope you're run offline." (**)

I don't think any one account holder here can speak for all of us.

** using this as an example. It is not what I hope.

I'm behind you. (2)

fuzzcat (182696) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075065)

I'm totally behind you guys. If there's anything that we as readers can do, just post it.

I think that we readers can certainly help by calling attention to this. I'm begging everyone to send e-mail to Microsoft, the press, and representation in Congress. While the folks at Andover are waging the war on the legal front, we can get a lot accomplished using our power as consumers. Let people know that you're angry. Don't just sit there and stew about it.

Here are some great places to start: [mailto]
Reuter's News Agency [mailto]
Associated Press [mailto]
ZDNet [mailto]
New York Times [mailto]
Tech Section of MSNBC [mailto]

Also find out who your representatives in Congress are and tell them what you think about Microsoft's bending of the law.

Just my own opinion.. (1)

steveargonman (183377) | more than 14 years ago | (#1075066)

After readinga lot of comments and having a moderate understanding of the laws, I do have something to share. First off, I do think Microsoft is *right* in asking for any removal of comments that contained pastings from their documentation. After all, they do own it. Like someone else said, would you be happy if someone took a peice you wrote, pasted it, and didn't ask for permission? Probably not, so I think you can agree they have a right to feel the way they do.
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