[e2e] end of interest

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Sat Apr 19 12:14:11 PDT 2008

In the US and Europe at least, one Major Company that controls a network 
stack has been judged thoroughly and beyond appeal by the courts to have 
a legal monopoly, with the strong assertion that makes by definition 
about consequent market power.   That *legal* position cannot be disputed.

It would take a stronger argument than a mere vague handwave by a 
computer scientist toward the word "competing interests" to convince 
most economists and lawyers that when such a company keeps its network 
drivers protected, proprietary, and engages in agreements with hardware 
vendors to "certify" their drivers and hardware, the playing field for 
competition enables easy implementation of anything in that dominant 
network stack.

Of course, computer scientists are welcome to their political opinions 
and dissent.  But in science, dissent requires testable proof.

Thus, I propose that the next PlanetLab scale experiment on new system 
architectures be carried out, not with Linux, but with Windows Vista.   
And without any prior agreement with Microsoft that gives the 
researchers licenses and access to code and internal interface 
privileges that students in, say, Ecuador don't have.

Based on that test, we can ascertain whether the monopoly in legal fact 
has an impact on research freedom.

Saikat Guha wrote:
> On Fri, 2008-04-18 at 16:47 -0400, David P. Reed wrote:
>> If you have no hope of deploying most innovations without bargaining 
>> with Major Co., then why bother doing research?
> There are multiple major companies with competing interests though.
> Research that favors one would get deployed, or at least, would have a
> chance of getting deployed. Google and network neutrality for example.

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