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MICROSOFT to sue satirists (Greg Owen {gowen})
(topical, smirk, computer)


Software Giant Claims Libel

By Gregory L. Owen
United Press

REDMOND, WA - Microsoft today announced that it will be seeking legal 
action against the authors of recent satirical articles which have
targeted the software giant.

"Microsoft Corporation will not stand for the falsehoods being spread
on the global Internet," said Microsoft Legal Department lawyer Alan
Presel.  Recent satires mimicking news service reports have attributed
Microsoft with purchasing the Catholic Church, trademarking all uses of
the name Bob, and negotiating a grinch-like deal with Santa Claus for
ownership of the Christmas holiday.

The phony articles have been spreading like wildfire over the global
Internet, or the "Information Superhighway" as it has been called.
Passing from person to person via mail and news delivery systems,
they quickly saturate the net and don't go away for months, if ever.

Asked why Microsoft felt legal action necessary, Presel replied, "Its
gone beyond the level of a joke.  The article claiming that Microsoft
had trademarked the name Bob was later described as a hoax, indicating
that a large number of people originally believe these articles. We 
also believe that the credibility these articles achieve makes them
subject to libel laws."

But has Microsoft really been hurt by these articles?  Presel claims
that they have.  "It hasn't hurt our bottom line," he says, "but it is 
costing the company the man-hours it takes to deal with these fallacies, 
as well as trivializing our corporation.  Microsoft's image is being 
threatened here."

To back his claim, Presel showed accounting of time the legal department
had spent rebuffing an attempted countersuit by Cornell student Bob
Dorich.  Dorich notified Microsoft of his intention to sue over their
trademarking of the name Bob, claiming prior art on the part of his 
parents.  Dorich dropped the lawsuit once he was convinced Microsoft
was not trying to trademark the name.

Bill Gates, co-founder and CEO of Microsoft Corp., was not present
at the press release.  "Mr. Gates feels his credibility has suffered 
from these articles," said Microsoft Press Liaison Richard Katz.  
"There have been fake quotes attributed to him in these ridiculous 
articles, and he has opted to take a less prominent position in news 
releases.  We feel that people may begin to equate quotes from Mr. 
Gates with phony articles."

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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