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Court Rejects msfreepc.com Settlement Claims 226

mr_tommy writes "Neowin has posted a link to a court ruling (pdf) on the controversial MSfreepc.com website. The court ruled that claims in the Microsoft antitrust settlement made via the site were not legitimate, and as such all submissions made through it would be rejected. The website, operated by Lindows.com, attempted to use the Californian settlement against Microsoft to its own benefit by getting users to signup and make a claim. Lindows saw an opportunity to capitalise on the ruling by getting Microsoft to pay for users to have Lindows software and hardware; undoubtedly too bitter a pill for Microsoft to take. Microsoft filed suit against the website Michael Robertson, owner of Lindows and a strong anti-Microsoft voice, will undoubtedly be disappointed with the ruling. The 'legitimate' site for claims is still available."
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Court Rejects msfreepc.com Settlement Claims

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  • by Eyah....TIMMY ( 642050 ) * on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:18PM (#7933589)
    Well, it sucks for Lindows but if any of you out there still want to file a claim [microsoftc...lement.com], you have until March 15, 2004 [microsoftc...lement.com].

    Remember, it's your money so it's better to file it through the official channels...

    Note: I know some of you will never file anything with M$ so this post doesn't apply to you (you don't need to go crazy on the replies, just go to the next post).
  • by nolife ( 233813 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:30PM (#7933721) Homepage Journal
    I'm all for choice but I was not at all impressed with Lindows compared to other desktop based Linux distibutions. I bought $199 Walmart PC's for my kids this christmas. One with Lindows and one with Lycoris. Lindows was usable and it worked without problems but the click-n-run selection was too limited. I tried several non Lindows repositories and regular old packages but eventually I got frustrated and started over with Mandrake. Although not required, I feel the money I could have spent on a Lindows subscription was much better spent on a Mandrake membership.
  • by graffix_jones ( 444726 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:35PM (#7933774)
    Lindows was just trying to get a free ride on the settlement's coattails.

    The letter of the settlement said that all claims must be submitted by the original purchasing party (not an intermediary like Lindows) and each claim must also must be signed by the original purchasing party (electronic signatures don't count).

    It's my hope that Lindows does the right thing and notifies all parties that submitted a claim through them that their claim was rejected... at least that way the 'injured' parties still have time for recourse (of course 90% of those claims were probably from Slashdot readers... who are now notified ;P ).
  • > Can you clarify?

    Just based on this [bragger.net].
  • by Makarakalax ( 658810 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @06:47PM (#7933856) Homepage
    True the name is tacky, but they have sponsored the upcoming ReiserFS 4 they sponsor kde-look.org and to my knowledge they are also funding a number of other OSS projects (like that web-page creation one, is it NVU?).

    They are contributors. They have gradually won my respect.

    On the other hand distros like Xandros are gradually losing my respect. They don't seem to offer anything back to the community. Looks like a mighty fine distro though and I'm glad it's available.
  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:02PM (#7933963)
    The difference is that the tax code explicitly allows you to file on behalf of someone else, while the terms of the Microsoft settlement explicitly disallow it.

    msfreepc.com was telling people they could do something which they did not have the right to do. (The loan aspect of it was fine, the filling aspect was the problem)

  • by relrelrel ( 737051 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:04PM (#7933975)
    is here [slashdot.org]
  • Re:Serves them right (Score:2, Informative)

    by gantrep ( 627089 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:18PM (#7934084)
    From the spelling, it appears he's British, and the British connotation of the word misdemeanor, if I'm not mistaken, is more serious than the American one. For example, in our US constitution, a misdemeanor [cnn.com] is something for which we would impeach our President.

    BTW, apparently "high crimes and misdemeanors" is an anagram for "Monica hiding dress
    hem smear."
  • by OneFix at Work ( 684397 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:22PM (#7934111)
    But you must add that this ONLY works IF you live in California...I don't actually know if it would work for a business that has a branch in California, or if it would work if you are no longer a resident of California...

    But it's safe to say that if you can't rightfully claim a direct connection to California (which is most ppl on the east coast) then filing a claim would likely give M$ the ability to sue you for filing a false claim...
  • by MeanMF ( 631837 ) * on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:34PM (#7934203) Homepage
    The MSFreePC site is still accepting applications for their "instant settlement" and they say that they will be honoring claims even if they ultimately lose in court: "We will fully honor all of the terms of the MSfreePC.com web site and will not be asking you for money or taking back product that has been made available to qualifying consumers, even if we do not receive payment from the Settlement Administrator" This means that you can get your $100 worth of free Lindows software AND file a legitimate claim to get your $100 from the settlement! Woo hoo!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:50PM (#7934332)
    Just a few of many things about M$'s proven (IMO) monopoly violations that disturb me ad infinitum.

    Last I read, the "settlement" explicitly included only Windows and M$DOS based products. So according to the settlement, legally speaking, if I bought a Mac version of Office because I "had" to interact with college courses/employers that "require" (so called by M$) "standard" .doc or .xls files, I suffered no economic hardship and was not robbed at all, unlike those poor Windows users! So if you bought the Mac version instead of pirating, your reward is being locked out of settlement! Way to promote ethical behavior! Typical of the way lawyers manage to reach settlements for their client (often corporate as is M$) that allow them to disavow responsibility for damages to a potentially large group of plaintiffs, all the while proclaiming to repent their past "mistakes" (fraud!). They should be forced to reimburse 100% of those affected, not the whatever percent using Windows. Justice isn't about being partly/mostly fair.

    Also, why is it that money unclaimed goes to schools? I am 100% for more school funding, better teacher salaries, more books, computers, whatever. But by making it a either/or choice (either you claim refund from M$ or it goes to the schools) they (M$) get total win-win (ha punny) PR! If a lot of people claim the refund they say "look we helped people". If a lot of people refrain in order for the money to go to schools, then M$ says "look we helped schools", makes inroads into another market they are trying to monopolize. There are plenty of M$-drones in positions of Education IT who will spend an M$ monopoly penalty refund on more M$ gear!

    Ugh! what an a great illusion of justice and the masses will naively believe they "won" over M$! Saddest of all!
  • Re:Biased article (Score:4, Informative)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @07:58PM (#7934406) Journal
    "whether or not they were eligible"

    That's a load of crap, the site in no way suggested you sign up if you were not eligible. It encouraged you to go through a series of web based questionaires to DETERMINE if you were eligable and sign up if you were.

    At worst this site encouraged every eligable party to sign up and use the anti-trust settlement funds to purchase competiting products (which is what the money was for). It was entirely in spirit with the ruling, and there was nothing wrong about it.
  • by davidstrauss ( 544062 ) <david@davidstraus s . net> on Friday January 09, 2004 @08:22PM (#7934540)
    At least, "ConcentricHost-Ashurbanipal" is rumored to be a proprietary HTTP daemon based on Apache.

    Maybe, but the PDF generator is ASP.NET (based on the aspx extension).

  • Got my claim form (Score:3, Informative)

    by saberworks ( 267163 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @10:34PM (#7935213)
    Got my claim form in the mail and they're basically offering $15 per copy of windows. That's not even worth the half hour it's going to take to fill out the stinking form. Maybe if it were $50 it would be worth it.
  • by armando_wall ( 714879 ) on Friday January 09, 2004 @11:18PM (#7935438) Homepage

    In the site's frontpage they quoted a guy from Microsoft [msfreepc.com]:

    "But Microsoft's Drake said Lindows.com's online process makes it too easy to make a claim".

    But they omitted the rest of his comment [lindows.com] (also here [sfgate.com]): "[comma] making it more likely that people without legitimate claims will file.".

    Heh, that reminds me of some movie ads, where they show quotes from magazines like "Brilliant!", but they omit the rest that goes "It was brilliant the way the director blew it with this piece of crap. Just brilliant!".

  • by Accipiter ( 8228 ) on Saturday January 10, 2004 @09:10AM (#7937069)
    Microsoft Windows costs $99

    Uh, no. Where [compusa.com] the hell [compusa.com] did you get [compusa.com] THAT idea [compusa.com]?

    Since Windows 3.1, there has never been a full retail version of Windows for $99. EVER. Windows 95 and 98 retailed for $189 - $50 more than the newest Mac OS. Windows XP Home Edition is $10 more than that. Now WXP Home Upgrade, THAT'S $99, however you still need a valid copy of Windows 98 or ME. (95 won't do.)

    Given the existence of products such as MacOS, Linux, various flavors of unix, OS/2, etc., why should MS be called a monopoly?

    Now you're just trolling. It's not illegal to have a monopoly; it's illegal to abuse a monopoly to squeeze out competition. Try looking up what Microsoft did to IBM with Windows OEM pricing in an effort to get them to stop developing OS/2.

    Get your facts straight before spouting off bogus arguments.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban