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.
Meanwhile, Andover.net'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 Microsoft.com 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