Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

RealNetworks Sues Microsoft For Antitrust Violations

from the haven't-we-done-this-before? dept

Try, try again. It seems that even if Microsoft can shake the government's antitrust pursuit, they're still getting hit from other angles. The latest is that RealNetworks has filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft, claiming that they're using their operating system monopoly to limit choice on digital media. They're going to ask for somewhere around $1 billion dollars. Microsoft has done an amazing job shaking off every such lawsuit in the past. You wonder if, one day, one of these will stick.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2003 @ 2:55pm

    No Subject Given

    Didn't Microsoft already address this issue with sevice pack 1 for XP and 4 for 2000 by adding the 'Set Program Access and Defaults' feature?
    It allows you, the user, or the OEM to turn off or at least hide Windows Media Player.
    If Real Networks did some workstation maintenance, they'd already no this.

    I'm so p!ssed off with Real Player and how it high-jacks your system that I haven't installed it for years, even though I bought a license for the full player at one point. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's grown to hate this 'product' and RN is just trying to get 'revenue' the only way left - litigation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    achacha, 18 Dec 2003 @ 3:47pm

    No Subject Given

    I am sure this has nothing to do with how rotten the RealPlayer behaves with your system and how close it is to a virus in disguise. Maybe their product sucks, did RealNetworks think of that one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Marty Fried, 18 Dec 2003 @ 4:02pm

    RealNetworks sues Microsoft

    I personally avoid RealNetworks products like the plague, and it's sometimes hard to do. I recently, by accident, tried to play something that installed Realplayer, and before I could stop it, it had latched on to my system, installing itself in the tray, and running automatically until I could find where in the registry it hacked itself in. All in the course of a few seconds, without my ever even seeing the video. I'm not crazy about Microsoft's offering, but it's easier to remove, and less objectionable to me. Personally, I don't use either very much, but I'll use Microsoft's by preference (not because I'm forced to).

    Real Notworks should pay attention to the public, and maybe they would do better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Howard Harvey, 18 Dec 2003 @ 4:02pm

    Microsoft getting sued

    While Microsoft has been rather successful in
    defending themselves in court, I seem to recall
    that Caldera got some kind of settlement for the
    whole DR-DOS thing, which was sealed. No one knows the exact dollar value attached to
    the settlement, but it is rumoured to be somewhere
    in the 10s to small numbers of 100s of millions
    of dollars. Same group seems to be trying to
    do a similiar thing with SCO and the linux code
    right now, with far less successful results it

    Further, there was a company/product called
    'stacker' for run time disk compression
    (back when hard drive space was considerably
    more expensive than now) Microsoft copied
    the product, or at least it's functionality,
    into some version of DOS, and then promptly
    got whacked for copying the product. Seems
    to me Microsoft settled for some
    'all stock buyout' of Stacker.

    Long story to short - Microsoft has lost in
    court, multiple times, for similiar behaviour
    in the past.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Analyst, 18 Dec 2003 @ 5:57pm

    Read the complaint...

    I read the suit and I think it's compelling. This could be the case that chops Microsoft off at the knees with their anti-competitive behavior...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Nate, 18 Dec 2003 @ 11:34pm

    No Subject Given

    Last time I checked, if you want to run Real file formats, there was nothing to stop you...that is unless you didn't install the virus to being with. If you don't want to install the viewer from RealNetworks themselves, you can install the Real Alternative Media Player Classic. Works great for when I don't have the choice of a different format.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    mach5des, 19 Dec 2003 @ 7:14am

    Re: Microsoft getting sued

    Wasn't the MS investment in Apple also a settlement over the wholesale rip off of the mac desktop?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 19 Dec 2003 @ 7:19am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I purchased Real Jukebox Plus a few years back when there wasn't much available in the world of CD -> MP3 ripping (at least with a nice GUI).

    There was an update to it that added a lot of functionality, fixed some bugs, corrrected a security 'mistake' and a few other things.

    When I got my new PC and installed Real Jukebox Plus I got a dialog telling me that a newer version was available for download and so I downloaded the new version - except it wasn't a new version of the software I had bought and paid for, it was a 30 day free trial for their subscription service. I was no longer able to get the update for the version that I had paid for so I had to deal with all problems with the original version... at least until iTunes was available for Windows - now all is well again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Dec 2003 @ 7:24am

    No Subject Given

    microsoft may have to worry when the federal and state governments are their biggest customers/supporters.

    Does anyone think the government is going to 'cut M$' off at the knee when their products run their infrastructure ??? If M$ took their toys and went home, the US govt would be in turmoil for a lonnnggggggggg time.

    Hello ? ? ? Was that open source I heard ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    modamned, 19 Dec 2003 @ 12:05pm

    real vs m$

    real media sucks anyway, i'd start lookin at real's books about now to see how badly they are doing due to their own faults.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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