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Microsoft-EU Options and Struggling FUD
Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:04 AM EDT

Trying to figure out EU law is a daunting task for a non-European like myself. So I appreciated an AP article carried in The Mercury News [reg. req'd], explaining the various options the judge has in the EU v. Microsoft case. Hearings on Microsoft's request for a stay of execution, so to speak, until the appeals process is over have just concluded. The article also set forth what Microsoft had to prove to prevail, and it seems to be a pretty high bar to reach. The judge said he'll rule "as soon as possible" and the article interprets that to mean that there should be a ruling in about a month or two.

Here is what the article says:

"The judge has the power to suspend the EU order in total or in part, but cannot rewrite it himself. However, legal experts say he could suspend it for a limited period to encourage the parties to work things out, reporting back to him on their progress, as he did in a recent case involving the European Commission and French beef producers. . . .

"To win its stay, Microsoft had to prove it had a good chance of winning the overall appeal, that it would suffer 'irreparable harm' if the order went into effect now, and that its interests were not outweighed by those of consumers or competitors in the market."

This particular judge, they say, seemed to be trying to get the parties to negotiate some kind of a compromise, even making specific suggestions, but the EU wants a ruling. The judge also seemed to be hardest on the EU lawyers, judging by the questions he put to each side, but those in the know told the AP reporter it doesn't foreshadow anything with regard to his eventual ruling.

The article also says that he has granted a stay in fewer than 20% of cases he has handled over the past three years. Microsoft's attorney, Brad Smith, was quoted as saying, "There must be a better way to address these issues." Whatever the judge decides, it can be appealed to the president of the highest EU court.

Struggling FUD

Someone sent me a link yesterday to an article by Maureen O'Gara, this time about PubPat and another one about Sun. I was going to answer them, viewing them as FUD, but then I noticed her statistics. I did some math, and I realized that Groklaw got more page views in an hour than she got all day on both those stories. Specifically, I compared the one story Groklaw ran Sunday, as of 7ish in the morning, with the two that she had put up Sunday morning on LinuxWorld.

We had, as of around 2 AM Monday morning, 23,776 page reads on that one story, and 474 comments. It's more now, of course, but that is when I did the comparison.

Maureen's stats at Linuxworld, and they get crawled by Google, so the stories can be listed on Google News and at least one of them was, as of 2 AM were: she had 159 page reads and no comments on one story and 1,172 page reads and 2 comments on the other. That is a grand total of 1,331 page reads and 2 comments for the day on those two stories. (At 2 AM, I notice a third story, but I didn't see it on the list in the morning, so I can't do a comparison now, not knowing when it was posted.)

I realize if she is syndicated, there may be other viewers elsewhere, but it's still a remarkable difference, particularly when you consider that Groklaw is also picked up all over the internet and run word for word in many, many places, so our stats are actually much higher than just what we get here. Sunday is also traditionally our slowest day, for that matter. The Creative Commons license means anyone can reproduce the content for noncommercial purposes, and they do. I don't permit bots to crawl Groklaw, so Google can't spread it, but it spreads remarkably anyway. We also have an XML feed and a newsletter.

So, after giving it some thought, I decided not to write anything, even though I see today some more proSCO junk, because I would surely only give her publicity and thus spread her views. I'll watch her stats and if anyone much starts to read something she writes, then I'll maybe respond and clear up some facts, as appropriate. This doesn't mean I won't write about the same topic here and there. I just won't link or do a direct answer.

I found those statistics very encouraging, and I hope this report from the FUD battlefront encourages you, too. You might find this article of interest too. It's a study about business, and on the dangers of ignoring Generation Tech. They mention blogs, and one senior exec is quoted as saying, "Blogging has proven the vitality of participatory journalism. Now there are people like me coming along and trying to figure out how to package it." Heh heh. Package it. Right. Back to class for him, I'd say.

Of course, we actually had 1,474 comments, but I deleted all the pro-SCO ones.

: D

Joke. Joke.

Sunday's story wasn't even about SCO. I haven't ever removed any pro-SCO comments that I am aware of. I just couldn't resist horsing around, after reading all the lying astroturfing that goes on about Groklaw elsewhere, which someone else was nice enough to tell me about. I wonder, whoever could be behind such a campaign?

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