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Microsoft Dodges Class Action In WGA Lawsuit 256

Posted by kdawson
from the hire-your-own-lawyer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A lawsuit that accused Microsoft of misleading consumers to download and install an update for Windows Genuine Advantage under the guise that it was critical security update will go forward, but not as a class action. A federal judge has refused to certify the lawsuit as a class action, which would have meant that anyone who owned a Windows XP PC in mid-2006 could join the case without having to hire an attorney. As Windows XP was easily the most popular operating system at the time, the ruling means Redmond has managed to avoid hundreds of millions in potential damages."
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Microsoft Dodges Class Action In WGA Lawsuit

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  • by ThreeGigs (239452) on Friday January 22, 2010 @11:03AM (#30859478)

    How about original linkage? : http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/09/04/microsoft.sued.over.wga [electronista.com]
    The lawsuit is for $5 million for the whole class. You do the math and tell me if this is to benefit the lawyers or the end users. This isn't about MS, it's about lawyers making money. I have a feeling there will be a lot of misplaced outrage in these comments.

    Also, it was a high priority update, _not_ a critical security update. Inflammatory summaries again.

  • by rhook (943951) on Friday January 22, 2010 @11:15AM (#30859628)
    It still ends up hurting the company and may make them think twice about using similar practices in the future.
  • by xymog (59935) on Friday January 22, 2010 @11:32AM (#30859826)
    The problem with the case is that plaintiff's' attorneys have failed to meet the legal requirements to certify the lawsuit as a class action. The initial pleading has been repeatedly amended to add and drop plaintiffs, while at the same time it is not able to advance coherent legal arguments backed by evidence. Courts will not certify a lawsuit as a class action based on wishful thinking. The courts require prima facie evidence that the issue is widespread, that many people are harmed, and that judicial economy will be best served by having a single lawsuit. This isn't a "win" for Microsoft or a "loss" for the common man; plaintiffs' attorneys haven't done their homework and met the burden of proof for certifying the class.
  • Re:What's the issue? (Score:4, Informative)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [esidarap.cram]> on Friday January 22, 2010 @11:48AM (#30860030) Homepage Journal

    How many of the people that were to join the class action suit would have had legitimate copies of XP flagged as illegitimate? I know very few people that had this happen. A few corporations had their volume keys flagged as such, but if the admin was doing things properly, they would have denied the update through group policy (or some other patch management).

    Somewhat OT, but every time my Win7 computer wakes up from suspend, it tells me that it may be pirated (it's not) and blocks me from t downloading any optional updates. Mine was a simple upgrade from Win Vista (which came with the laptop) to Win 7 (upgrade disk provided by the manufacturer), and yet I'm still told that it's not legit. I have no trouble believing that legit XP installs have their fair share of this with WGA.

  • by qazwart (261667) on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:01PM (#30860196) Homepage

    You actually have a point.

    Back in the 1990s with the Microsoft antitrust case, many emails and discussions came out. One of the most interesting ones was Microsoft taking about their market position in China at that time. They talked about market share and how many people there were using Windows and Office and what they could do to improve this. The funny thing is they weren't talking about sales, but the number of people pirating their software. Microsoft wanted to encourage people in China to pirate more copies of Windows and Office.

    Microsoft new the number of people who could actually afford their software in China at that time was low, but they also believed that one day China would crack down on the pirating and become a legitimate market. Microsoft thought their best position was to make sure everyone was using Microsoft products -- even if they were pirated -- because people would be use to them. Then once the government cracked down on pirating, Microsoft's sales would go through the roof.

    Microsoft's biggest fear is that if people were discouraged from using pirated copies of Microsoft products, these people would turn to "open source alternatives" and would never become Microsoft customers.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:10PM (#30860302)

    Seriously - we all know this. Every class-action against a tech company usually results in (at absolute best) a hundred bucks or so to each class-action participant, while the lawyer(s) leading the charge get to go buy a new yacht/house/jaguar/whatever with their take.

    Yes. And?

    In a lawsuit with 10,000,000 plaintiffs which pays out $1,000,000,000 dollars, how do you expect the distribution of the money to work out? Do you expect the lawyers to work for free? Or are you suggesting that the defendant should be fined 1 million-bliion-quazillion dollars so that EVERY plaintiff can go out and buy a yacht?

    I'm not sure what point you were trying to make, or what your proposed solution is, so if you could clarify that for me I'd appreciate it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:28PM (#30860548)
    Then you're a thief. Be honest about being a thief, don't try to make cute justifications for it like calling it an "emulator." Just say "I steal windows because I have no respect for other peoples' property." You'll feel better about yourself afterwards.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:36PM (#30860646) Homepage

    I love having Linux on my Dell Mini 9, which stays in our living room. Watching TV/streaming Netflix and browsing the Internet on that little thing is awesome. Using Linux helps an underperforming device just feel snappier (plus I don't have to run anti-spyware, antivirus, etc which eat up precious CPU cycles)

    I love it for my browsing purposes, but yeah I agree...I don't think I would want to use it for regular daily tasks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:38PM (#30860664)
    I don't mind the lawyers making money, but when they agree to give me coupons for products from a company that ripped me off, they shouldn't be paid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:48PM (#30860762)
    It's a play on a quote from the movie Dodgeball. [imdb.com]
  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Friday January 22, 2010 @12:59PM (#30860924)

    In a lawsuit with 10,000,000 plaintiffs which pays out $1,000,000,000 dollars, how do you expect the distribution of the money to work out? Do you expect the lawyers to work for free? Or are you suggesting that the defendant should be fined 1 million-bliion-quazillion dollars so that EVERY plaintiff can go out and buy a yacht?

    What happens usually is the damaged parties get a $10 coupon off their next copy of Windows, and the lawyers walk away (using your numbers) with $900M cash. Knowing full well that said coupon will probably expire, and most probably won't even use it or even bother to collect it after having to give Microsoft their full personal history for it.

    (I'm sure the lawyers could get Microsoft to make them $20 or $50 coupons off Windows, but it reduces their share).

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