Links about today's MS-EC deal

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Thu Oct 25 09:22:09 UTC 2007

Hi all,

On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 10:16:14 +0100
Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at> wrote: 

 rmss> I read the events as Neelie Kroes having sold herself out.

While there are groups and people putting out that message, it isn't
exactly helpful or necessarily true. I would recommend

and in particular

for further reading, which analyses the situation pretty well.

The patent provisions are obviously insufficient for Free Software, and
thus Samba. So one might be tempted to say that the Commission has
allowed Microsoft to impose terms that are sufficient only for those who
are long extinct, or those who don't compete commercially. Having
informed the Commission about the inadequacy of those terms, we could
also maintain they could not claim ignorance.

But that would be missing the overall picture. The information will be
made available now, and there should be no problems in the Copyright
and trade secret fields, at least.

So the last item we need to figure out is how to solve the patent issue,
which is non-trivial simply because software patents exist, and any
executive will treat granted patents as valid patents until successfully
invalidated or until the legislative body changes the situation.

The road to competition and interoperability remains abolition of
patents on software. While many of us had hoped DG Competition might be
more helpful in this by pointing out the obvious flaw of software
patents bringing about a situation where interoperability information
cannot be used by the actual competitors. This did not happen.

So ultimately this was a step in the right direction, but more work
remains to be done.


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
Join the Fellowship and protect your freedom!     (
What everyone should know about DRM                   (
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