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Judge dismisses Microsoft request for Netscape tapes

Profs claim victory for academic freedom, but judge may release some interview material at antitrust trial

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Microsoft attempt to use the courts to force to US academics has failed. The company wanted access to interviews conducted by professor David Yoffie of Harvard and professor Michael Cusumano of MIT for a forthcoming book on Netscape, Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and its Battle with Microsoft. The interviews contain Netscape executives admitting they had made mistakes in their attempts to compete with Microsoft. But when the professorial pair refused to hand over the tapes, Microsoft sought the legal power to take them for possible use in its own antitrust case defence. However, US District Judge Richard Stearns threw out the case because the professors had shown the interviews were made in confidence. At the same time, he reserved the right to release parts of the tape should it be required in the forthcoming Department of Justice vs Microsoft trial. A Microsoft spokesman said the company is considering an appeal against the decision. ® Click for more stories

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