[FSFE PR][EN] Italian consumers shouldn’t have to pay for software they don’t want – Letter to Regulators

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Oct 17 11:47:41 CEST 2014

 = Italian consumers shouldn’t have to pay for software they don’t want – Letter to Regulators =

[ Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20141017-02.en.html ]

FSFE and Italian consumer association ADUC, along with Italian group
ILS, are asking regulators to take concrete steps to protect Italians
from being forced to pay for software they do not want or need. Italy’s
High Court ruled in September[1] that computer vendors must reimburse
customers for the price of unwanted non-free software that comes pre-
installed on PCs and laptops. Today, FSFE, ADUC and ILS have sent a
letter to the Italian competition authorities[2], calling on them to
ensure that vendors will comply with the High Court’s decision, and
respect the rights of their customers.

    “Vendors can’t rightfully ask consumers to jump through hoops in
    order to enjoy their legal rights, and the authorities have a duty
    to protect those rights,” says FSFE’s President Karsten Gerloff.
    “The simple steps we are calling for today would lead to much
    greater freedom of choice for Italians. We are hopeful that the
    competition authorities will take action to implement the High
    Court's ruling.”

- FSFE, ADUC, and ILS are asking the competition watchdog to take the
  following steps:  When non-free software is pre-installed on a device,
  it must carry a prominent notice to users to make them aware of the
  possibility to receive a reimbursement for the price of the software

- Hardware vendors should put in place simple procedures for consumers
  to claim reimbursements for pre-installed software in line with market
  prices. Reimbursement procedures must not be unnecessarily
  complicated, and need to be easy for consumers to find and follow.

- Warranty and support provisions for the device must not be affected by
  whether a consumer chooses to have the price of the software

Alternatively, vendors could sell their devices pre-installed with Free
Software, releasing them from the above obligations.

    “Only Free Software allows users to fully control what their
    computers are doing, and where their personal data goes,” says
    FSFE’s President Karsten Gerloff. “Anyone who buys a computer should
    have the option of receiving it with Free Software pre-installed.”

In most European countries, it is difficult for consumers to acquire PCs
and laptops without being forced to pay for a license for a non-free
operating system at the same time. FSFE has long been pushing for
vendors to end their current practice of pushing non-free software on
consumers who do not want or need it. The organisation maintains a wiki
page[3] with advice for consumers. Here, buyers can also report their
experiences in obtaining reimbursements from different vendors in
various countries.

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 1. https://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20140912-01.en.html
 2. https://fsfe.org/www.aduc.it/generale/files/file/allegati/Istanza%20AGCM%20rimborso%20windows.pdf
 3. https://fsfe.org//wiki.fsfe.org/WindowsTaxRefund.en.html

  == 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.


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