Not sure why I missed this, but it’s an important development: a federal judge has issued a critical ruling supporting a patent lawsuit against Microsoft brought by InterTrust, a tiny digital rights management company. I wrote a little about this months ago; InterTrust, bought by an investor group led by Sony Corp. of America and Royal Philips Electronics in January for $453 million, stand either to make billions off Microsoft, or else force them to stop selling 85% of their products. Ouch.
This is all part of a battle over Digital Rights Management — who gets to decide what kind of software is going to lock up your DVD or CD or whatever, so you can’t copy it for any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Who owns the lock is basically going to make the money. Everyone else just puts the bits together.