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SFGate: Code Blue: McAfee's Monopoly on Antivirus Software Could Prove Deadly

Aug 17, 2001, 07:30 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

This is an interesting story with a few points of interest for Linux and open source enthusiasts, including McAfee's apparent abuse of software patents and the threat a patent-enforced monopoly in software services could pose:

"Though it's probably wishful thinking to hope that even a single one of us will escape virus infection at one point or another, at least there's some comfort. Antivirus software is available to help us clean up the mess, and these programs are dutifully kept updated with fixes for all the latest bugs.

Suppose, however, that a single corporation were able to monopolize the market for antivirus software.

Far from being merely a hypothetical scenario, this situation may soon become reality, following the approval of US Patent #6,266,774. This patent, awarded to antivirus-software vendor McAfee.com, describes a "method and system for securing, managing or optimizing a personal computer." The documented uses for this technique include hardware and software diagnosis, treatment of viruses, software updates over the Internet and other "maintenance tasks."

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