[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE not inclined to pay legal costs of Microsoft

FSFEurope Press agency press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Sep 29 12:00:52 CEST 2004

           FSFE not inclined to pay legal costs of Microsoft
            "No settlement in sight, FSFE ready for battle"

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) casts doubts on the increasing
rumors that Microsoft is willing to settle the antitrust case against
the EC Commission, which is due to come to Court later this week. 

"We have not been approached by either party by any accounts. This
seems more like a smoke screen trying to distract from Airbus having
confirmed withdrawal from the case. With the hearing just a few hours
away, we also do not see the possibility to discuss any such proposal
at this stage," Carlo Piana, FSFEs legal counsel to the case,
comments. "Having seen the copious amount of pages of CVs for the
experts that Microsoft intends to bring to court, we are instead
preparing for two days of intense legal battle. We are quite confident
that our comparatively smaller team will give them a hard time and
provide the Commission with a great deal of support, as we have done
so far," Piana concludes.

"We are indeed ready for the battle, but we do hope that others will
stand up to support us in this fight as we are currently financing the
costs of this litigation from our rather limited funds," Georg Greve,
president of the FSFE confirms. "In this regard it should be a rather
interesting encounter: On the one side our small, but highly competent
team, hard-pressed even for the smallest of expenses. On the other
side Microsoft, which hired two of the most prestigious law firms in
Europe with their remarkably expensive lawyers working around the
clock with unlimited funds."

The costs seem indeed expensive since Microsoft with its legendary $49
billion cash reserve applied for the parties siding with the European
Commission to bear their legal costs in case the European Commission
loses the case. At the current stage, the result Microsoft can expect
is something equivalent to an acquittal for want of evidence.

If the other parties, such as FSFE, would then have to pay the cost of
Microsoft, it would be much like the surfer paying dental care to the
shark. "We appreciate the humoresque quality of this demand, but we
are certainly not inclined to give in to it!" Georg Greve concludes.

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) 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 FSFE, which was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organization of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.

   Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org

Joachim Jakobs <jj at office.fsfeurope.org>
Press Speaker - FSF Europe (http://fsfeurope.org)
In der Roede 24, 64367 Mühltal (Tel: +49-179-6919565)

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