Will Microsoft follow the path of Redmond to get rid of the third-party accessories from Xbox 360?
Microsoft’s disabling of Datel memory cards, which prompted an antitrust lawsuit in 2009, is still functutional.
Microsoft had blocked Datel as Microsoft’s sell of its own cards were being undercut by Datel’s sales.
Datel sued, urging U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporteto to declare Microsoft’s actions anti-competitive because the disabling of the cards was intended “to perpetuate Microsoft’s market power.”
Microsoft defended the move saying its actions were protected by the DMCA, because Datel’s memory cards are circumventing an Xbox memory-card authentication sequence, a sequence that allows limited access to copyright game data.
However, Microsoft’s actions were questioned by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge in a federal court filing on Wednesday.
“Microsoft effectively asks this court to grant it exclusive rights to sell any and all Xbox-360-compatible memory cards, controllers, and headsets,” the digital rights groups wrote U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte, the judge presiding over the Datel flap in San Francisco.
The date for trial has not been fixed, but the briefing of the case continues.
The DMCA liability is not imposed by any court on a company for selling competing durable goods.
“This court may be the first to interpret that opinion in a case involving competitors that market consumer products and, as such, its ruling may significantly impact both the everyday casual users of technology, as well as the future developers of consumer electronics and compatible third-party accessories,” wrote Judge Laporte, according to reports.
Microsoft countered by claiming that it has found “striking similarities between Datel’s source code used in its Xbox 360 authentication chip and Microsoft’s source code.