Imagine this: you are a company that makes operating systems for computers. You make such popular operating systems in fact, that you become one of the largest companies in the world. Over time, you expand your business into other areas – you make your own computers maybe, or perhaps a line of digital music players.
Now, imagine this: the United States government passes some inane legislation aimed (on the surface) at preventing piracy and copyright infringement, among other things. This would be the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Okay, so no imagination necessary here.
Next. A company approaches you with some copyright protection software. You look at the software and decide it’s not right for your very popular operating system or any of your digital music players, or your very popular software jukebox/music store.
Lastly, imagine that this company actually decides to sue you for not using their copyright protection software, because – get this – by not using it you are actually in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act! Not only do they try to sue you, they send a cease & desist letter telling you to stop selling your computers, operating system, and digital music players! Not only that, but they want upwards of $2500 for each product that you’ve sold that hasn’t included their copyright protection software!
That couldn’t possibly happen, right? I mean, no company would be so stupid, so greedy, so unethical, that they would actually try to force Microsoft, Apple, Real Networks and Adobe to give them money for not using their product based on creative interpretation of the law… right?
A company called Media Rights Technologies is doing just that. Full story available here, from Yahoo and Macworld.
I guess this answers the question of what you should do when nobody wants your product. Sue them for not using it – brilliant!