MindArk Offices Raid by 70 Marshals Demanded by Microsoft
Gothenburg, Sweden – June 26th, 2002 -
MindArk AB, the Swedish creators of the 3D virtual Universe “Project Entropia” was raided by 70 officials of the Swedish court, acting on behalf of Microsoft and three other software companies.
Microsoft has accused MindArk of infringement on their software rights, stating that MindArk is willingly and unlawfully using over 600 programs without license. The raid on the MindArk headquarters in Gothenburg is believed to be the largest operation ever conducted by a Swedish court involving court officials from several cities on the west coast of Sweden as well as external personnel recruited for the purpose..
Jan Welter Timkrans, the managing director of MindArk AB, says in a comment to what occurred:
“MindArk has duly procured licenses for all software used in its offices. I would even go so far as to say that MindArk is one of the companies with the most stringent policies regarding software licenses in use by its employees.”
“One can expect that Microsoft and the other companies are keeping track of what and to whom their representatives are selling software. In some cases the registration process involves direct contact between our company and Microsoft or its colleagues. With this in mind, Microsoft must be assumed to know that what they have stated to the Swedish courts is not the full truth, therefore I must assume that Microsoft must have another agenda for their action against MindArk.”
Jan Welter Timkrans suggests that Microsoft is trying to disrupt the launching of Project Entropia:
“All through our development process we have kept track of which companies are visiting our site on the Internet and without comparison Microsoft has been one of the most frequent visitors. “
When MindArk a few weeks ago proclaimed Project Entropia 3D universe open for anyone to enter from their computer, the Project Entropia site immediately became the world’s largest site on the Internet even beating Yahoo, MSN, etc.
Microsoft owns a product named Asheron’s Call, which aims in the same direction as Project Entropia. Asheron’s Call however lacks many of the key ingredients Project Entropia has. To name a few; in Project Entropia real money is used, things that one may acquire can be turned into real cash, the software is freely available and downloadable on the internet, millions of users will be able to interact within one and the same universe.
Benny Iggland, chairman of the supervisory board of MindArk AB says in a comment:
“MindArk is prepared to sue Microsoft and the other companies for damages caused by their action. Proceedings from this process, which will certainly reach a substantial number of millions of United States Dollars, will be placed in the virtual universe of Project Entropia as a number of gigantic treasures that anyone entering the Universe of Project Entropia may find and grab.“
MindArk (www.mindark.com) develops Internet technology solutions. With novel applications in the interactive entertainment sector, in browser infrastructure, and in massively parallel active user presence on the Internet, MindArk is expanding the new universe.
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