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RE: Antitrust Bill of Rights
Interesting thoughts. Of course this would open the door for claims against any software developer/publisher.
I would guess the first hurdle would be the shrink wrap EULA.
From: Hans Reiser[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: December 06, 1997 8:22 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Antitrust Bill of Rights
> It seems to be a common perception that the persons that are most
> effected by the existence and toleration of monopolies are
> capitalists, who weren't lucky enough to get in on the ground floor.
> I wonder if this is true? The reaction of most entrepreneurs (as
> Ralph points out) is to move on the next pasture, and try to grow
> their own monopoly. Investors just buy into an already existing one
> (Somebody is driving up the price of MS).
No, this is not true. Many entrepeneurs are idea driven. The presence of
monopolies keeps them from ever getting financing, or succeeding without it.
So their great idea rots.
This is like killing one of their children. It hurts.
> It's consumers who are hurt by the lack of anti-trust enforcement, not
> entrepreneurs or investors. And yet they seem to have no place at the
> table (even before the Supreme Court cut everyone else out except the
> Justice Department). Perhaps the way to reinvigorate anti-trust would
> be to give consumers the right to sue for damages due to restraint of
> trade. Of course, no consumer would actually do such a thing
> themselves, but an enterprising lawyer might be able to get a
> class-action certified, and then we would be talking real money.
Why do you think that consumers lack the right to sue for restraint of trade?
Is there a precedent I don't know about? Consumers are injured in their
person and property, yes? Their damages are not duplicates because both
parties to a trade are injured by its restraint, yes? Where is the barrier?
It is the need to sign the parties up for the class action in advance due to
an unfortunate precedent that has killed consumer class actions. And my hope
is that by creating web pages with forms that you fill in the blanks for, send
to the printer, sign, and mail in, that we can make such actions more
economic. I would particularly like to see this used against MS if I can get
even $10 out of them in my private action for damages as a consumer.
Unfortunately, I think one needs to first win for a small amount as an
individual, and then publicize that anyone can get their $X if they just fill
out and mail in such and such form posted on the web, and then they wait for
you to gather together all the forms, file the lawsuit, and win on the same
grounds as the first lawsuit. Such is my intent vs. MS.
> Bill Cooper