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Slashdot fires back at Microsoft

The influential open-source site posts a letter from its parent company's attorney questioning the software giant's demand that it remove certain postings from its site.

Influential open-source Web site Slashdot.org has fired back at Microsoft over the software giant's demand that it remove certain postings from its site.

Slashdot yesterday posted a letter from the attorney for its parent company, Andover.Net, questioning the rationale behind Microsoft's demand.

As previously reported by CNET News.com, Microsoft last week sent Andover.Net a "notice of copyright infringement" regarding postings on Slashdot concerning details of the Kerberos Web security program included in Windows 2000. Even though Microsoft had made the information available on its Web site, it claimed that Slashdot's republication violated trade secrets.

The new letter, from Mark D. Robins of Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar, pokes at Microsoft's argument, asking in part, "How can Microsoft claim trade secrecy for a protocol that is distributed over the Internet?"