Corel: Deep-Sixed

Maybe Enter Sandman should be re-titled, Metallica with their
head in the sand.
The band’s most recent circus sideshow involved
stacking legal documents outside Napster’s San Mateo headquarters,
profiling over 300,000 usernames of individuals swapping pirated songs
using MP3 sharing software.


Gee, that’ll teach ’em a lesson. Force Napster to cancel a bunch of recyclable
screen names, to put college kids through the minor inconvenience of having
to re-register.


The damage to the band’s image will be irreversible. They don’t realize
they’re indirectly attacking the exact same demographic that buy their
music. It’s a ridiculous old school stance against a highly Net savvy
public. Now see if that next album goes platinum.


Consider for a moment, all these lawyers of big business are out to get a
19-year-old frat-boy giving away shareware free. But they don’t realize
it’s already too late. It’s one of broadband’s most killer apps, and it’s
installed on every other college student’s PC all across the country.


They can fight it all they want, but Metallica is only cementing their
image as the poster boys on the wrong side of one of the most polarizing
issues to hit cyber-space in years.


Seller’s remorse


Corel (CORL)
has fallen on hard times since the market’s latest swoon. And word on the
street has Inprise/Borland (INPR)
walking away from its proposed merger with the struggling Linux player,
citing a nagging case of seller’s remorse.


The billion dollar price tag looked pretty sweet when the deal was
originally announced back in February. But Corel’s share price has since
deep-sixed, and the value of the deal has undergone some drastic shrinkage
to the tune of $600 million.


That’s like buying a Big Mac and finding out the all-beef patty’s missing
by the time you get it home. And that’s the knife that cuts both ways in
high-flying Internet time, where fortunes are expected to change hands
faster than a craps table at cocktail hour.


Who can blame Inprise/Borland? In Corel’s latest filings, the company
quietly announced its checks would start bouncing like a rubber ball within
the next three months without a white knight to the rescue.


So Inprise/Borland will take its ball and go home, while Corel figures out
what the heck went haywire. It’s called the flavor of the month, and
investors simply grew bored with plain vanilla.

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