Microsoft Still Kissing, Still Making Up

Microsoft have settled an long-running dispute with InterTrust over patents relating to content protection – namely, setting permissions on content for buying, copying and downloading digital content. InterTrust sued MS in 2001 after talks to license their technology failed.

MS have agreed to pay $440 million (€369 million) to put this one to rest.

An anonymous source at the BBC said to Digital Lifestyles: “Interesting … particularly where a MS spokesperson says that ‘patent issues were the responsibility of MS not their customers’ …that one will come back to haunt them.”

It appears that Microsoft are tying up loose ends so they can concentrate on new business – also, Digital Lifestyles see an interesting synergy with the Linux/SCO case.

We believe Microsoft will contrast their recent intellectual property settlements against the currently unresolved SCO source code dispute. Demonstrating that Windows is litigation-free compared to the potentially dangerous disputes surrounding Linux and potential additional licensing fees might entice businesses away from the open source operating system towards a (law-wise at least) “safer” Windows.

You heard it here first.

InterTrust on the settlement

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?