Not that long ago we told you that the MegaUpload case would be one that would have massive ramifications across the internet and also with regards to the image of the US Government and how they handle this. This image includes the current global view that the US is not run by elected officials, but by corporations especially the entertainment industry who continues to push for laws that allow them to impose their will around the globe. It is a very messy situation no matter how you look at it and as we have warned before, the US runs the risk of looking like they are not looking to uphold the law, but are acting as an extension of the Hollywood Cartels. Two days ago we learned of an excellent example of this and one that is sure to send a message to other countries and corporations that the US simply does not care about the law or fostering innovation. They are only concerned with keeping the campaign funds flowing.
A second Linux Distro has joined the Microsoft Secure Booth party. You see Microsoft has come up with what they are calling the UEFI Secure Boot. UEFI Secure boot is somewhat controversial in that once set up it will only allow signed versions of an OS to be installed. This means that if a computer is shipped from an OEM with Windows 8 and UEFI Secure Boot on you could not install a generic version of Linux or indeed any other OS including Windows 7 etc. This would effectively lock someone into using Windows 8 only on these devices. This block would include even downgrading your new system to Windows 7.
The business world in the US is a funny thing especially when it comes to legal matters. There is an unwritten rule that seems to be in use when companies break the law. This rule is all about making sure not to hurt the business regardless of the damage a company does to consumers or anything else really. We are seeing a great example of this with the Apple eBook price fixing trial. Although Apple was found to have conspired to fix prices at a much higher point that the market standard (by forcing an agency model) they still feel they should not have any consequences for this action.
Apple has become very brave in the light of their apparent victory over Samsung in Judge Lucy Koh’s court room. Despite potential issues with the verdict including evidence that the jury ignored the explicit instructions that were directly read to them by Judge Koh and written in several places, Apple is riding on a wave of euphoria that has caused them to expand their attack against Samsung. This was not overlay surprising as Apple is confident that the US population is ignorant of the concept of Prior Art, the differences between being inspired by a design and copying as well as some of the basic concepts behind software development (and that nagging little detail that prevents you from copyrighting a UI).
Here is an interesting one, after our report that covered a few emails where Steve Jobs himself got involved in creating a new eBook pricing structure we find out that one of the five publishers in “the club” has now settled with the 29 states that have open class action suits against Apple and company (This is not the same as the Departmetn of Justice Antitrust suit).
There could be good news for gamers as EA (formerly known as Electronic Arts) has agreed to a settlement in the Anti-Trust case over their exclusive deal with the NFL, NCAA, and AFL. Although all of the details are not known what we do know is that EA is agreeing to end their exclusive deal with the AFL and allow their agreement with the NCAA to expire in 2014. On top of these EA will pay $27 Million in compensation to consumers that bought any of these titles and will not seek another exclusive deal for five years. What is missing here is any mention of their exclusive deal with the NFL. Why this critical piece of the puzzle is being left out we are not sure.
During the last few years the corporate world has enjoyed something of a respite from the typical anti-trust laws that are upheld by the Sherman Antitrust Act. This means that things like the MPAA, RIAA, the Viacom merger and too many others to count have all gotten the thumbs up from regulators. It was not until the Occupy movements hit the streets in major towns that we began to see regulation agencies begin to take notice of some of the more outrageous violations. It was as if they suddenly woke up and said “Hey! You can’t do that…” of course it is an election year and the majority of voters are very unhappy. The incumbent politicians have to at least appear to be doing something.
Microsoft is in a bit of trouble over their decision to grant users in the EU the right to choose their browser upon the installation of the Windows operating system. Now I know you are thinking that they have already been in trouble for this before, so why are we bringing it up again? Well the issue is that with the launch of Windows 7 Service Pack 1… Microsoft just stopped allowing for the browser election. Yup, any new system shipped with Windows 7 SP1 would boot up just like the good old days (for Microsoft). Well the European Union would like to talk to them about it.
So Mozilla complains about Microsoft and suddenly Congress wants to take a look at Microsoft’s plans for Windows on ARM. Now we are not really surprised that Mozilla is complaining (after all that is what they do), but we are shocked that they are not complaining about Google and Apple at the same time.While we are not all that happy with the direction that Microsoft is going with Windows 8 and Windows RT they are not doing anything that has not been done by both Apple and Google on the same platform; the tablet.
We have said before that Big Corporations in legal battles often sound like little kids on the playground. We yesterday AT&T replied to the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust suit intended to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T with an argument that can be best described as Nuh-Uh!
The real response countered that the DOJ just did not understand how much the consumer (pronounce that AT&T) would benefit from this merger. In fact the actual wording was “(The) complaint similarly fails to depict accurately the state of competition in mobile telecommunications today, the dynamic nature of the wireless industry, or the pro-competitive and pro-consumer impact of this transaction”.
Personally I think the DOJ hit the nail on the head when they stated that allowing AT&T to control 63% of the nation-wide market and ALL of the GSM traffic in the US is both anti-completion and severely anti-consumer. AT&T further states that they need TY-Mobile to prevent spectrum issues (AT&T has more of the spectrum that any other company as it is). AT&T continues to want to look at things on a local level where there are numerous local competitors, but on a national scale those local companies sink into the word work where only four remain open.
Additional arguments by AT&T claim that T-Mobile is in financial trouble and blocking the merger will not help them and in turn hurt their customers. In short the response was not a response as it brought no new information to the table and only makes the very childlike proclamation of “You Don’t Get it”.
Further proof of this can be found in an e-mail that was sent with the response stating that AT&T will work with the DOJ to address their concerns with this merger. We have previously talked about what type of concessions AT&T might have to make to get by the DOJ’s objections, but with a new suit filed by Sprint it might not be up to the DOJ any more….
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