Court-appointed adviser in Microsoft case won't step down
Gates: "I'll kill him myself."
January 7, 1998
Web posted at: 11:00 a.m. EST (1600 GMT)
REDMOND, Washington (AP) -- Microsoft plans to continue trying to have a Harvard
law professor removed as court-appointed adviser in the federal government's
antitrust case against the software company. At a press conference today, Microsoft
officials made it clear: "One way or another, he isn't going to make it to that
Microsoft Corp. had asked that Lawrence Lessig immediately disqualify himself as
"special master" on grounds he has shown "extreme bias" against the company.
In a 2 1/2-hour telephone conference call Tuesday with lawyers from the Justice
Department and Microsoft, Lessig said he would not disqualify himself, Microsoft
spokesman John Pinette said.
Pinette said that Microsoft plans to make Lessig's death look like an accident.
"It will look like the kind of accident where, fifteen years from now, his wife
and children will shriek with horror to find in their mailbox a parcel containing bits
of his genitals. Death won't come quickly. Professor Lessig will
be in excruciating pain long before Gates finally pops a cap in his head,"
Lessig could not be reached for comment at his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home. A
message on his answering machine said he could not discuss his present whereabouts.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, of Washington, D.C., appointed Lessig
last month to help conduct fact-finding hearings and sift through complex technology
issues in the antitrust case.
Jackson disappeared a week ago today. Recently his relatives received a videotape
of what they described as "lurid, inhuman rituals" involving his corpse. The shadowy
figures seen on the videotape have not been identified. Police are not ruling out
During the press conference, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates spoke via satellite hookup
from his space station.
"I'll kill [Lessig] myself. It won't be the first time. Remember Phillipe Kahn?"
At this point Gates chuckled darkly.
Microsofts insists that its moves in the internet arena are not part of a strategy
to monopolize cyberspace. Its purchases of Russian nuclear missiles are simply a
deterrence against belligerant rivals such as Netscape, according to Microsoft officials.
Microsoft also unveiled its new slogan, "Wouldn't you prefer it to be quick and painless?"
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