Canon printer and TurboPrint
j.mckeown at ru.ac.za
Fri May 29 07:34:39 UTC 2009
On Thursday 28 May 2009 22:52:47 Jerry wrote:
> Did you ever bother to consider that if the printer manufacturers
> actually formed a consensus on a printer language, some third world
> county or the EU would probably sue them. Nothing I have seen in 20
> years equals the audacity of the EU. As long as no 'standard' no matter
> how arbitrary, stupid or counter-productive exists, they are in theory
> safe from the EU. Besides, nothing stifles development as tightly as
> being bound to an arbitrary 'standard'.
What a breathtakingly stupid remark.
The EU has acted against two companies (Microsoft and Intel) who have used
illegal business methods to protect and extend their monopolies and suppress
Or are you suggesting that a format or protocol which is implemented by
several different companies, allowing vendors to compete fairly on other
grounds (price, features, quality, ... ) while protecting consumers by making
it possible for them to move from one vendor to another, is somehow a worse
idea than a proprietary format or protocol which is forced into a
market-dominating position by illegal tactics such as paying manufacturers
extra to incorporate it, or penalising them financially for providing
If that's the case, why is no-one trying to use the courts to prevent the use
of ODF, a published standard which is now used by several companies and Free
Software projects to provide a common format for documents?
Once a company dominates a particular market it's held to a different standard
than other companies in that market - because the power of the monopoly can
be used not only to prevent competition in the original market, but to extend
the market domination into new markets, by techniques like product tying,
distributing at below cost (effectively drawing subsidy from the original
monopoly product) until competitors are driven out of business, and so on.
Microsoft has been convicted of doing all these things, in US courts, in
courts in Asia, and in courts in Europe. These are matters of fact, not
Intel has been convicted of many of these things in courts in Asia and in
The fact that the US system is too supine to take action against these
companies doesn't make the EU ``arrogant''. Let's not forget why Unix took
off and expanded the way it did: once upon a time the US courts did take
antitrust seriously, and prevented AT&T using its telco monopoly to expand
into market domination of the computer business.
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