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Re: A challenge re-issued.

  On Mon, 10 Nov 1997 08:07:07 -0500 (EST), Charles Kelly, NT*Pro wrote:
  >More correctly, I'd classify my self as a defender of freedom. I would
  >defend any company's right to do business as they wish within the bounds of
  >applicable laws, of course, and any consumers right to make a free choice
  >within the choices available. As I've said in numerous other messages, I'd
  >take this same stance if it were another company (Sun, Netscape, or Novell
  >for instance) being bashed about in this forum. 
       You mention "within the bounds of applicable law" when those laws
  are exactly what many here are talking about.  There has to be a set of
  'rules' for doing business because without them nobody without a huge
  amount of money could market anything, and then the market leader would
  be defined by the company able to pay the highest bribes and willing to
  do anything to gain more marketshare.
       Contrary to what you may think these laws were written to protect
  consumers by trying to create a level playing field for everyone trying
  to market their products, and if you think M$ has been willing to play
  'fair' IMO you've been extremely naive in this area.
       IMHO what enabled M$ to steal the OS market was their (since deemed
  illegal) OEM contracts which virtually locked out any competition.  You
  talk about consumer choices but for at least a couple years the consumer
  had NO CHOICE but to pay for a license for some M$ OS if they bought a
  complete computer system.  The *ONLY* way around this was to build the
  system yourself, because if you wanted to buy a system from any
  independent company that bundled an M$ OS on ANY of their machines you
  were FORCED to pay for a copy of a M$ OS.  I don't know what you call a
  'choice' but if you think consumers had a choice in this you don't know
  the definition of the word. 
       As far as I'm concerned the DOJ had M$ a couple of years ago but
  they let them off the hook.  What I don't believe they understood (albeit
  Judge Sporkin understood) is that by not trying to enforce some kind of
  remedy they weren't going to 'fix' anything.  The damage had already been
  done, M$ was able to gain a huge unfair advantage in marketshare that
  would only get worse in time.  If the DOJ had done their job the first
  time I don't think we'd be discussing this today, but since they didn't
  actually 'do' anything to M$ for what's since been considered to be
  illegal OEM contracting they've allowed the situation to only get worse. 
  They blew it!!
  >Part of the issue NOT discussed in this forum is that it seems to me (and
  >I'm not a lawyer) that our US  system of laws doesn't contain absolutes. It
  >is a collection of opinions which can vary greatly from one case to another
  >(even given fairly similar circumstances). For anyone to make a blanket
  >assertion quoting "what the law is" seems (at least in the US) to be
  >laughable to me. If I missed this point I hope that one of the lawyers
  >present will correct me. 
  >Given the non-absolute system of laws it seems that until the ruling judge
  >makes a decision (and that decision is upheld at every level of appeal)
  >that we cannot know with absolute certainty what is right and what is wrong
  >(in a legal sense).
       Oh I agree that our legal system is far less than perfect, but
  because of this would you have us forget about laws completely??  It's
  kinda like what people say about democracy (I'll paraphrase here),
  "democracy sucks, the only thing that's worse is everything else".
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