[FSFE PR][EN] Freedom is priceless, but has a cost!

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Wed Nov 24 18:28:06 CET 2004

[for immediate release]

FSFE: "Freedom is priceless, but has a cost!"

"The Free Software Foundations have a 20 year history of implementing
and defending freedom in the information society -- be it on a on a
single user machine or at the European Court in Luxembourg -- and we
are proud of the independence and integrity we have always
maintained", the president of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE)
Georg Greve says in view of the settlement between Microsoft and the
Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). 

As reported by the Financial Times, Microsoft bought CCIAs withdrawal
from the European Court case, deserting the European Commission for
payment of 20 Million US-Dollar to the CCIA, half of which were paid
to CCIAs president Ed Black personally.

"Microsoft has invested more than 2.5bn USD into buying two things
from SUN, Novell and the CCIA: The immediate freedom of European
companies and consumers and the capability of the European Commission
to bring about future successful antitrust investigations," Greve
continues. "It may briefly increase their financial assets, but at the
cost of future market perspectives." Examples are home entertainment,
operating systems built into cars and mobile phones.

The Free Software Foundation Europe emphasizes that with each turn of
the wheel, it will become more difficult to break the vicious
cycle. Each failed antitrust ruling will give Microsoft more assets to
buy parties out of future antitrust investigations. Unlike CCIA,
Novell or SUN, the Free Software Foundation Europe cannot be bought
and will continue to support the European Commission in the case.

"Those who wish to see freedom of market restored should be aware that
never can someone with deeper pockets divert support already given to
FSFE, as it happened with the CCIA.  This independence is priceless,
but not without cost. The only thing that might therefore be able to
stop us is lack of resources because of lack of support." Greve

FSFE members are available for interviews and further details.

About the Free Software Foundation Europe:

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charitable
   non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
   in a digital society. Therefore the Freedoms to use, copy, modify and
   redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition-
   allow equal participation in the information age. 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.  The FSFE was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.

   Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org

Press Speaker:

   Joachim Jakobs <jj at office.fsfeurope.org>
   Cell: +49-179-6919565

Other Contacts:

   Georg C. F. Greve <greve at fsfeurope.org>
   Tel: +49-40-23809080
   Fax: +49-40-23809081

   Stefano Maffulli <maffulli at fsfeurope.org>
   Cel: +39 347 14 93 733

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