Technology in brief

Saturday November 03, 2001

SAN JOSE — Competitors complained Friday that Microsoft Corp.’s settlement with the federal government will do little to protect them or consumers from the software giant’s monopoly power. But they held out hope that state attorneys general could make the deal more restrictive. 

Microsoft and the Justice Department presented the settlement to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Friday. She agreed to review it and gave the 18 states involved in the case until Tuesday to decide whether to accept the plan. 

Several competitors called on the state attorneys general to insist on making changes to the settlement. Sun Microsystems Inc.’s general counsel, Michael Morris, said the Justice Department was “walking away from a case they had already won.” 

Kelly Jo MacArthur, general counsel for RealNetworks Inc., which makes music and video software threatened by Windows Media Player called the settlement “a reward, not a remedy.” 

Paul T. Cappuccio, the general counsel for AOL Time Warner Inc., said the settlement “does too little to promote competition and protect consumers.” 




SAN FRANCISCO — Chalk up a legal victory for the computer geeks. 

A California appeals court ruled Thursday that using the Internet to publish software code that decrypts and copies DVD movies is protected by the First Amendment as an expression of free speech. 

The San Jose-based 6th District Court of Appeal found that Andrew Bunner’s published Web site, which links to software program called DeCSS, represented “pure speech” and was protected by the First Amendment. 

Thursday’s ruling by a three-judge panel overturns a lower court injunction that prevented the program from being published by the defendants, though it is still widely available on various Internet Web sites. 




SAN JOSE — A low-cost rural electricity system and solar-powered radios to bring AIDS education to people in Africa were among the projects that won the first Tech Museum of Innovation Awards. 

The $50,000 awards were given to five people and organizations Thursday night, selected from a field of 25. The awards recognize those who encourage the adoption of technological advances in health, education, environment, economic development and equality. 

The winners include Joseph DeRisi, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who worked at fighting malaria; the Audubon Center for Research and Endangered Species in New Orleans for reproduction technology to save threatened species. 


low-cost rural electricity systems; CZBioMed of Fayetteville, N.C., for making inexpensive prosthetic limbs; Freeplay Foundation in South Africa for wind-up and solar-powered radios distributed to spread education about AIDS to people in Africa. 


On the Net: 


Coalition of competitors: http://www.procompetition.org