FSF berates apathy over Microsoft antitrust case

FSF berates apathy over Microsoft antitrust case

Summary: 'I hope more companies will help us defend their interests,' says the free software organisation, after ECIS filed another complaint against Microsoft

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Georg Greve, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), criticised the IT industry on Wednesday for not doing enough to support the European Commission in its antitrust case against Microsoft.

Greve said that despite the importance of the antitrust case in establishing the bounds of acceptable behaviour in the IT industry, the FSFE has been one of the few organisations that has helped the Commission.

"[The] FSFE has been working on this case for many years, from the original investigation, over the 2004 decision, to the European Court case where it is now one of two remaining third parties on the side of the European Commission," wrote Greve, in his blog.

"I only hope that more companies will help us defending their interests in this — to this date, FSFE has received virtually no support for this case from the industry. Consequently, all the credit belongs to the free software community, including in particular the Fellows of the FSFE."

A FSFE spokesman said on Thursday that there are, in fact, four third parties supporting the European Commission in the court case — the FSFE, the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), VideoBanner, and the Software & Information Industry Association, but added that the latter two have "given very limited contributions".

On Wednesday, ECIS filed a new complaint against Microsoft with the EC claiming that Microsoft's refusal to use the OpenDocument standard or release details of its .doc, .xls and .ppt file formats was anti-competitive. It also claimed that Microsoft was trying to create an environment where Web-based applications work only with computers and servers running Windows, according to the Financial Times.

Greve applauded ECIS' latest filing, but pointed out that this may seem inconsistent as Microsoft has already reached individual settlements with a ECIS members such as RealNetworks and Sun.

"You may notice that ECIS contains several of the companies that lost its interest in the case after reaching individual agreements and monetary settlements with Microsoft directly, so this may seem contradictory, but indeed the ECIS complaint builds on the case and goes beyond it," said Greve.

An EC spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Thursday that it had received ECIS' complaint and will "look at it carefully". "We only received it yesterday so there is no other response at this stage," she added.

Topic: Tech Industry

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4 comments
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  • You know that the Users are the ones who wil be paying for all this. I'm not a Microsoft Fan Boy (i use SUSE Linux) but its not their fault the so call competition can't make something worth competiting against.

    Microsoft will just charge more for their software and the users will pay more and the companies that get their little payout will be fine for a few more months developing nothing much really until they need another little cash injection.

    Stop complaining and do something.....
    anonymous
  • re read the story
    It's about closed starndards
    it's about MS setting a new standrd and keeping it propritary
    so that nothing but MS software can read files made by M$ software
    so that no one can compete
    or even interorprate with MS
    if you had as much as two working brain cells
    you would see that this forces MSs garbage on ever one

    you sound like an MS spokesman
    tack your cheap shot and attack my spelling
    go ahead and attack the messager
    because you don't like the message
    sence you can't counter my points
    anonymous
  • Eh!
    anonymous
  • so your not a microsoft fan boy but you use Suse linux..so you're a Linux fan boy then?

    I hate it when people assume because people use one OS or another that somehow this means they 'worship' that company...

    I use windows because it currently has the most software available for it (applications and games) and the most popular 3d support.

    EVERYONE is free to make an OS thats better than windows..but judging by XP's popularity that simply hasnt happened yet...you can say linux is faster or more stable or whatever but the fact remains people are going to go to the OS thats got the software for it....calling someone a 'fan boy' is a weak excuse to insult someone because you can't think of a proper reason!
    anonymous