[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE calls on Microsoft to release interoperability information without restrictions

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Thu Feb 28 15:11:36 CET 2008

	FSFE calls on Microsoft to release interoperability information
	without restrictions

The European Commission has fined Microsoft 899 million Euro for
anti-competitive behaviour by restricting access to interoperability
information through unreasonable royalty payments prior to October
2007.  This is in addition previous fines of 497 million Euro and 280
million Euro applied in the same investigation, resulting in a total
penalty of 1.676 billion Euro.

"Microsoft is the last company that actively promotes the use of
software patents to restrict interoperability. This kind of behaviour
has no place in an Internet society where all components should connect
seamlessly regardless of their origin," says Georg Greve, president of
the Free Software Foundation Europe.

"The idea that interoperability information for software can be
restricted by software patents is simply unacceptable," comments Shane
Coughlan, head of FSFE's Freedom Task Force.  "The Commission is now
recognising this issue in the context of understanding that patent
royalties can distort the market.  We have to ensure that such
distortion does not occur again.  If Microsoft wants to act in good
faith it should release all the interoperability information for its
products on a royalty free basis."

"Microsoft have abused their monopoly position to prevent competition
and choice," says Jonas Oberg, vice-president of Free Software
Foundation Europe. "Yesterday's decision by the Commission is step
towards correcting this but Microsoft are still reaping the benefits of
their abuse. We need to act to restore a free market in European software."

Context - The European Commission press release:

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.

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

Media contact: Shane Coughlan, FTF Coordinator, FSFE extension: 408
mobile: +41792633406
Further information: http://fsfeurope.org

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