Your article raises some interesting points and, like so many others, raises questions that Microsoft either won't or can't answer.
If Microsoft's "intellectual property" is in Linux, then why won't it tell people what it is? Microsoft is sounding like a landowner with a gun who threatens to shoot people if they come onto his land but won't actually tell anyone where the boundaries are.
Don't Ballmer and Gates realize that their statements just reinforce the view of a lot of people out there in the world of computing that Microsoft is just like the schoolyard bully?
Microsoft's moves in this game so far closely resemble the opening moves made by SCO in its anti-Linux strategy. If I were in Microsoft's shoes, I certainly wouldn't be using SCO's game plan as a model.
While speculation is interesting and fun as far as the future is concerned, if Ray Kurzweil is even partially correct in his predictions, where are all these oldsters going to live? The earth is overcrowded in terms of distribution of resources and habitable spaces (by Western terms, at least) and to think of an Earth with more than 20 billion vying for dwindling resources is to think of an anti-Utopia.
There will always be those of us who believe that the further man gets from the soil, the further he gets from his own humanity. I, for one, don't want to live in a nanorobotic world made artificially perfect by an artificial group of intelligences. As Joni Mitchell sang so eloquently, "Give me spots on the apples."
--Tom "The Horseman"
I'm not sure I understand why you feel TiVo is at a greater risk to be sued for copyright violations. How is its product any different than a computer that IBM or Dell makes? Better yet, why would TiVo face a lawsuit when Apple hasn't been sued for supporting the MP3? TiVo has built tools to respect copyrighted files and isn't even supporting DivX on its new software (which is the codec used for the majority of pirated material).
Napster was sued because it actually kept the pirated files on its own servers. Kazaa was sued because it encouraged significant infringing use. TiVo is only letting you move video on your computer to your TV. It isn't file sharing, hosting material, or encouraging consumers to commit theft. Because there is a compelling noninfringing use for its product, I suspect that any lawsuit wouldn't make it very far.
Theoretically, consumers could abuse this feature to move pirated material to their TV sets, but they can do the same right now by converting their files into .wmv files and then streaming them to an Xbox 360. Yet you don't focus on a risk to Microsoft for enabling a similar feature.Your comments seem to lack any real legal analysis and instead focus on a worst-case scenario when there really isn't an underlying legal issue. --Davis Freeberg
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