Business Briefs

SAN MATEO (01/05/2000) - EXPANSION: Xerox Unit Looks to Boost 'Net EffortsXerox has formed a business unit to boost the company's profile in Internet-related activities. The Xerox Internet Business Group will "amplify" existing activities at the company and develop new business and service-related activities pertaining to the Internet, company officials said. As part of the effort, Xerox's Web site will be enhanced to include more interactive communications to establish relationships with customers and extend online services. The group also will assemble a suite of Xerox knowledge tools and technologies and make them available to partner companies. Michael Miron, former senior vice president of Corporate Business Strategy and Development, will be president of the new business unit.

RESIGNATION: Maffei Quits as Microsoft CFOGreg Maffei has resigned as chief financial officer (CFO) at Microsoft Corp. and will be replaced by John Connors, the current vice president of Microsoft's worldwide enterprise group, company officials said.

Maffei has accepted a position as the chief executive officer of Vancouver, Canada-based Worldwide Fiber, which is currently building a 22,000-mile fiber-optic network in the United States.

Connors, who will take over the Microsoft CFO position Jan. 7, has worked at Microsoft for almost 11 years in various senior management positions, including a spell as general manager of worldwide financial operations.

On an interim basis, the worldwide enterprise group will report to Jeff Raikes, currently group vice president for worldwide sales and support, Microsoft officials said.

COPYRIGHT DISPUTE: RealNetworks Wins Injunction Against StreamboxRealNetworks last week won a temporary restraining order against Streambox forcing the Internet streaming technology start-up to halt the development, production, and sale of three of its products.

RealNetworks filed a lawsuit against Streambox last week in the U.S. District Court in Seattle alleging that the company has infringed its copyright and violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with its Ripper software.

Streambox's Ripper utility converts CD and other audio files to Moving Picture Experts Group, Audio Layer 3 (MP3) and Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA) formats, enabling users employing those formats to listen to a wide range of audio files they previously were unable to access, according to information posted on the company's Web site.

Streambox announced in October that it had "cracked" the source code of RealNetworks' streaming software, giving users access to audio and video files.

The injunction relates to the sale, license, marketing, and development of Streambox's Ripper and VCR computer programs that "circumvent or attempt to circumvent RealNetworks technological security measures," the court document said. Also included in the injunction is Streambox's Ferret program or any other software that uses RealNetworks' RealPlayer program or source code, the order added.

Streambox will appear in court Jan. 7 to state the company's case against the preliminary injunction.

-- Compiled by Carolyn A. April

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