Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=174110
 
 

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The Un-Microsoft Un-Remedy: Law Can Prevent the Problem it Can't Patch


Jonathan Zittrain


Harvard Law School and Kennedy School; Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Berkman Center for Internet & Society



Abstract:     
Microsoft has brilliantly exploited its current control of the personal computer operating system (OS) market to grant itself advantages towards controlling tomorrow's operating system market as well. This is made possible by the control Microsoft has asserted over user "defaults," a power Microsoft possesses thanks to a combination of (1) Windows' high market share, (2) the "network effects" that make switching to an alternative so difficult for any given consumer or computer manufacturer, and (3) software copyright, which largely prevents competitors from generating software that defeats network effects. The author suggests a much-reduced term of copyright for computer software--from 95 years to around five years--as a means of preventing antitrust problems before they arise.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

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Date posted: September 7, 1999  

Suggested Citation

Zittrain, Jonathan, The Un-Microsoft Un-Remedy: Law Can Prevent the Problem it Can't Patch. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=174110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.174110

Contact Information

Jonathan Zittrain (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School and Kennedy School ( email )
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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