Folks who follow news about FOSS, OSS and Linux who also watch the “talking heads” shows the TV networks serve up on Sunday mornings might be excused for not noting that David Boies, the lawyer speaking for Sony on this week’s “Meet the Press,” has on several occasions been involved in news stories affecting Linux. Over the years, he’s played the role of both friend and foe, but it’s been a while since his and the FOSS world’s paths have crossed.
Back in the days of the Clinton Administration, Boies became something of a hero to FOSS and Linux supporters when he represented the Justice Department in “United States vs. Microsoft,” which went to trial in May of 1998. This antitrust suit by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorneys General of twenty U.S. states, found Microsoft being accused of illegal and unfair competition. In October of the same year, the U.S. Department of Justice also sued Microsoft additionally for violating a 1994 consent decree by including Internet Explorer as part of Windows.