Appeals Court: All MS info must be made public

Microsoft Corporation was informed Friday that a U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that will release virtually all of the evidence in the company's antitrust trial to the public. Microsoft had sought to keep much of this information private, especially the videotaped deposition of its CEO, Bill Gates. While the entire Gates deposition hasn't been shown yet, prosecutors have shown small portions of it throughout the trial. The video, which looks like it was shot with a convenience store surveillance camera, depicts a sullen and uncooperative Gates.

The Appellate Court ruling is based on an obscure and, as Microsoft argued, somewhat out-of-date law dating to 1913. In this law, it is stated that antitrust cases filed under the Sherman Act should be "open to the public as freely as are trials in open court."

No matter. As soon as court officials can remove any information that is deemed private (such as trade secrets and the like), the video will be released to the public. That is, unless Microsoft decides to take its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. It is not expected to do so

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