Judge: Java People Have Pride, Too

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-12-05
 
 
 
BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motzs remarks during closing arguments in the preliminary injunction hearing here Thursday between Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. offered an indication of his ideas of fair play.

"Theres still something about this. … I called it a social issue, but its even a moral issue. You could be paid for your damages and the loss of your market … but its also about pride and product," the judge told Lloyd "Rusty" Day, an attorney for Sun, during his closing remarks.

Further, Motz said: "Something seems to me to be wrong—even if you could end up being paid a lot of money—that youre denied selling your product. Java people have pride, too."

Day seized the opportunity. "The purpose of the antitrust law is to take away the kings monopoly," he said. "Thats whats going to let the James Goslings of the world stand up and innovate."

Gosling is a Sun fellow and the father of the Java programming language.

Day said Microsoft had "kneecapped" Java, and the court should enforce the so-called "must-carry" remedy that would require Microsoft to bundle a Sun-compatible Java Virtual Machine with Windows.

Motz told Day: "Youre not trying to put things back in time, not that theres something in this thats like a Groundhog Day remedy. Its like what was back in time is almost like the present, except .Net distorted the market."

"This remedy mitigates the distortion," Day said.

Motz then asked Day to show him instances of incompatibilities with Microsofts Java.

As Day laid out his theories, Sullivan & Cromwell attorney David Tulchin, representing Microsoft, jumped up to object.

"The last 20 minutes has been testimony from Mr. Day with not one single shred of evidence in the record or one witness called," Tulchin said.

Motz apologized to Tulchin and promised to give him equal time.

Tulchin said the competition in this space will "be played out in Web services, not the desktop alone; that doesnt help them [Sun] one bit." He added, "In any event, were talking about money damages if there were any wrongdoing to address."

Tulchin said the claims Sun brings up in this hearing are the same ones that have been struck down in other courts—primarily the U.S. Court of Appeals and most recently the U.S. District Court, under U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

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