Friday, May 11, 2007

Lawsuits Gone Wild

So you think that concept patents and intellectual property law suits have not gone far enough?  On Thursday, I read in Forbes and heard on a Wall Street Journal podcast that Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Apple, and Real Networks have received cease and desist letters by Media Right Technologies (MRT) for "actively avoiding their X1 SeCure Recording Control."  MRT believes that because these companies do not use their DRM product that they are in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). 

Talk about stretching application of the law.  Although the DMCA is overreaching in its objective, I am sure that Congress or the music industry (i.e. RIAA) did not intend for it to be convoluted in this fashion.  Who who is next?  EMI for selling non-DRM music through the iTunes Music Store.

Apparently MRT has developed a new business development technique that I am unaware.  If you cannot get a company to purchase your technology, threaten to sue them.  I see this move as a last ditch effort by a struggling company to coerce the big guys into keeping them afloat.  Hopefully the federal judge that ends up with this case, if they even file one, will not waste taxpayer dollars and throw it out.  Maybe MRT should consider hiring a good marketing and business development professional.

CNET News.com article