[FSFE PR][EN] A great day for SAMBA, Free Software and Europe

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Dec 22 13:58:27 CET 2004

"Those who value freedom and competition have received two nice
Christmas gifts this week. First, new EU member Poland does not allow
the introduction of innovation- and job-killer software patents
through the diplomatic back-door. And now the European Court decides
that Microsoft should not get another four years to further harm its
competition" says Georg Greve, President of the Free Software Foundation
Europe (FSFE).

Bo Versterdorf, President of the European Court, has today rejected
Microsoft's appeal to delay execution of the sanctions. Microsoft has
been forced by European Commission to publish technical information
about the interfaces of their Windows operating system to enable
competitors to reach interoperability between their systems and Windows.

While the software giant claimed that following the tradition of the
technical industry to publish formats and standards will do irreparable
harm to them judge Bo Vesterdorf agreed with European Commission and
FSFE that this was not a convincing thesis.

Legal and technical competence brought by the Samba Team and FSFE in the
process helped the European Commission to resist to the attack of
the most important law firms in Europe. The Free Software community,
represented by lawyer Carlo Piana, kept defending european consumers and
the interests of European citizens and of all companies that base their
business on Free Software.

"Microsoft now will have to explain how they have arbitrarily modified
public standards they use in their servers and work hard to re-establish
competition in the small server market. On the other end we are sure
that it is an opportunity for the market to compete on quality of code
and services, respecting interoperability" says Carlo Piana.

"This is a great success of an international community that is really
able to coordinate and obtain excellent results: technical, legal and
political. We have always thought that Microsoft's arguments were
poor and we are glad we were able to explain this to the judge so well"
says Stefano Maffulli, Italian Chancellor of the FSFE.

But this success did in fact cost something: the FSFE, who played
an important role in the decision, was only able to put this much
resources into these cases due to the ongoing financial support from the
Free Software community as well as from several companies. "The more
donations we get, the more we will be able to extend our engagement for
Europe's freedom from monopolisation", Stefano Maffulli concludes.

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