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Microsoft vs DoJ: Judge may recalled ‘biased’ special master

Lessig may return despite allegation 'IE zapped my Mac'

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Lawrence Lessig, who was chosen by Judge Jackson to be a special master in the DoJ case against Microsoft, but whose appointment was put on hold in February after Microsoft told the court of appeals that Lessig was biased because he did not like the way Internet Explorer had interfered with the software on his Mac, may be invited to submit an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief by the Judge, according to sources close to the case. The court of appeals did not address the issue of Microsoft's bias claim. Lessig, who is now teaching a class at Harvard called "The Microsoft case", said that if he were invited, "of course I'd write something for him". The move is indicative of the Judge preferring the DoJ version of events. It means that the Judge can in this way obtain Lessig's opinions but avoid any question of Lessig's appointment being overruled again in the new case started in May. Meanwhile, pressure from MEPs has resulted in DGIV, the competition directorate of the European Commission, offering a "brainstorming behind closed doors... because we don't want to create problems for our US colleagues. We can't make public all our information". By international treaty, it is agreed that the EU will await the outcome of the DoJ's action before taking action on the same issues. Karel Van Miert, the competition commissioner, said: "We are in constant touch with [the DoJ] because this is a very important case." DGIV has resolved several European cases involving Microsoft, and has no outstanding complaints, although Van Miert said: "We can't rule out receiving [more] complaints." ® Click for more stories

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