[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE, Samba: A triumph for freedom of choice and competition

FSF Europe Press press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Sep 17 09:55:22 CEST 2007

FSFE, Samba: A triumph for freedom of choice and competition

"Microsoft can consider itself above the law no longer," says Georg
Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

"Through tactics that successfully derailed antitrust processes in
other parts of the world, including the United States, Microsoft has
managed to postpone this day for almost a decade. But thanks to the
perseverance and excellent work of the European Commission, these
tactics have now failed in Europe," Greve continues.

Carlo Piana, FSFE's legal counsel: "FSFE and the Samba Team welcome
the decision of the court. This is a milestone for competition. It
puts an end to the notion that deliberate obfuscation of standards and
designed lock-in is an acceptable business model and forces Microsoft
back into competing on the grounds of software technology."

"The Samba Team would like to thank the European Commission for its
outstanding job over the past years. Millions of users around the
world will reap the rewards of their work," comments Jeremy Allison,
co-author of the Samba project. "This is a very important day for the
Samba Team: we hope to finally compete on a level playing field,
without being denied access to interoperability information. Samba
would then be able to offer consumers real choice, with the benefits
of software freedom."

Volker Lendecke of the Samba Team: "Now that the court has decided, we
will be watching closely what the exact licensing terms for the
interoperability information are. It will be very important to make
sure that the information is usable in Free Software, otherwise the
great success the Commission has achieved here is severely
harmed. Samba is one of the most important players in the workgroup
server market, the market in which the comission wanted to restore

"This is a very good day for Europe, but it is only a step along the
way. The recurrent theme for Microsoft's behaviour over the past years
is an apparent perception of interoperability as a threat to
overcome," summarises FSFE counsel Carlo Piana. "The most recent
example was provided by MS-OOXML, which Doug Mahugh of Microsoft
described as a commercially motivated response to the threat provided
by the ODF ISO standard and the interoperability and choice it offers.
Tactical, not technical considerations were the driving force behind
Microsoft's global efforts to manipulate national standardisation
bodies into blind acceptance of MS-OOXML."

FSFE president Greve concludes: "Today's decision has set a very
important precedent for the future. Secret manipulation of open
formats and protocols has clearly been marked as unacceptable
conduct. We now encourage the European Commission take up the recent
antitrust complaint brought forward by ECIS. In a joint effort with
the Samba Team and OpenOffice.org, the FSFE gladly offers its
expertise to the European Commission for that investigation."

About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
   non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
   involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
   participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation
   in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
   Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
   furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
   modify and copy. Founded in 2001, 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.


   Web page: http://fsfeurope.org

   Email: press at fsfeurope.org

   You can reach the FSFE switchboard from:
    Belgium:     +32 2 747 03 57
    Germany:     +49 700 373 38 76 73
    Sweden:      +46 31 7802160
    Switzerland: +41 43 500 03 66
    UK:          +44 29 200 08 17 7

About Samba:

   Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that has, since 1992,
   provided file and print services to all manner of SMB/CIFS clients,
   including the numerous versions of Microsoft Windows operating
   systems. Samba is freely available under the GNU General Public


   Web page: http://www.samba.org

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