[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE to challenge Microsoft in its appeal against European Commission

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Tue Jul 27 14:47:38 CEST 2004

[for immediate release]

                    FSFE to challenge Microsoft in its appeal against
                    European Commission

(Essen/Luxemburg) The European Commission sought to help the IT market
grow in the best possible way for consumers and citizens of the
European Union with its antitrust ruling against Microsoft.

EU Commissioner Mario Monti imposed a penalty of nearly 500 millions
Euro and additional conditions. One of these is the publication of the
software interfaces. This information is important for example to the
Free Software project SAMBA. SAMBA connects the UNIX and GNU/Linux
World with Microsoft's operating systems. Via this gateway SAMBA
reduces customers addiction of the monoculture which is fostered by
the Redmond based software giant. Without the information on the
interfaces SAMBA cannot work properly.

Although it seems questionable whether that ruling would truly stop
the monopoly, Microsoft seems to be worried and has entered appeal
against it in front of the European Court.

After having participated as third party in the antitrust case before,
the Free Software Foundation Europe has participated to the
preliminary hearing on Tuesday 27th of July 2004 to enter court in
order to defend the decision of the European Commission and the
freedom to use Free Software SAMBA.

Among general interests of Free Software, the FSFE will specifically
be representing the interests of the SAMBA team, a Free Software
cooperation developing the only remaining competing implementation of
the SMB/CIFS protocols that permit interoperability between various
operating systems and the MS Windows family.

The Italian lawyer Carlo Piana, of the milanese firm Tamos Piana &
Partners, will represent the interests of FSF Europe and of SAMBA
team, the developers of the remaining alternative implementation of
the SMB/CIFS protocols that permits interoperability between various
operating systems and the MS Windows family.  He commented: "FSFE
simply could not remain outside this litigation. The decision of the
Commission represents an important precedent which is of utmost
importance in the sofware market and for the whole society. Freedom,
not just money, is at stake.  I am therefore very proud of this

"This case is about preserving the last remaining obstacle to total
Microsoft dominance of the Microsoft-compatible server market.  It is
not only about defending freedom for users, but mainly freedom of
businesses." says Georg Greve, president of the FSFE, adding "We call
on all businesses to support us in this struggle. Those who ignore
that call today have to expect to have only one choice to buy storage
and directory services from tomorrow."

Information about the FSFE fundraising campaign can be found at


More background information on the Microsoft investigation is available
on http://fsfeurope.org/projects/ms-vs-eu/ms-vs-eu.en.html

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable
   non-governmental organization dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may
   participate in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use,
   copy, modify and redistribute software - as described in the Free
   Software definition - allow equal participation in the information
   age. Creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software
   politically and legally, and giving people freedom by supporting
   development of Free Software are central issues of the FSF Europe,
   which was founded in 2001 as the European sister organization of
   the Free Software Foundation in the United States.


Press Speaker:

   Joachim Jakobs <jj at office.fsfeurope.org>
   Cell: +49-179-6919565

Other Contacts:

   Georg C. F. Greve <greve at fsfeurope.org>
   Tel: +49-40-23809080
   Fax: +49-40-23809081

   Stefano Maffulli <maffulli at fsfeurope.org>
   Tel: +39 02 34 537 127
   Fax: +30 02 34 531 282
   Cel: +39 347 14 93 733

More information for the press available at


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