What a bloody awful ruling!
Not sure which is worse, the Judge using the word 'should' in a ruling, the judge saying anything should be more like Windows or the ruling itself that prevents Nintendo from protecting their proprietary hardware and software licensing.
Whenever a judge says something should be like something else they are not in fact stating something that is supported by law, they are stating something that is supported by personal opinion. Now, I'm well aware that judges give legal opinions all the time, however those legal opinions are not the same as personal ones, and they have to be based in the law, not personal belief.
Windows is most certainly not an open platform, trying to develop for Windows without getting Microsoft to divulge the innards of Windows is like trying to extract a brain tumor with your bare hands. It's a bloody and messy business fraught with unknowns and mistakes.
As for the ruling itself. It sounds as though the judge has a bit of a freetard streak running through them. Nintendo was seeking to protect it's proprietary hardware, something that is most likely covered by multiple patents and trade secrets, against infringement. Not only that but the infringing product also bypassed their system security allowing unlicensed software to run on the Nintendo console. People are framing this as if it's a DRM issue, and it's not. The DMCA would have an impact in the USA because the cartridge in question undeniably circumvents the security of a digital system which is a clear violation under the DMCA. But elsewhere, not so much.
However, the ruling makes no sense at all because it effectively sets a precedent that blocks consumer electronics makers from using proprietary hardware in their products. Any CE product that uses built in security or proprietary hardware to prevent unlicensed third party products from interacting with their product would be found guilty under this precedent. So for example a cordless phone manufacturer could not use a custom encryption scheme to prevent a competitor's hand set from working with their base station. The implications of this judgement are quite far reaching.
The other thing that bothered me is this thought that the judge found that although the cartridge being challenged by Nintendo did circumvent Nintendo's system security, it also added functionality not provided by Nintendo, and this somehow makes the circumvention of security OK. Eh? Run that by me again. It's OK to break the security on a device as long as you extend functionality? That's bollocks that is. That's a fine justification for home brew development, but it's not a justification for allowing a product to circumvent a manufacturers security. Nor is it a legal defense.
I imagine that Nintendo will appeal this to a higher court.
As for those saying that MS does so allow anyone to do whatever they want with their Xbox360, perhaps you should remember that MS recently perma-banned about a million 360s because they had been modded to allow home brew software and playing pirated games. XNA is a development environment that while inexpensive is still something you pay for, so not everyone can do it, Not only that, but XNA imposes limits on what you can and cannot do and manages home-brew development within Microsoft's manages and secure network. In other words, claiming that XNA is somehow equivalent to home brew is rather like saying that a parrot in a cage is just as free to fly as a parrot in it's native environment. Clearly it is not.