Protected from innovation…

While proponents and supporters of Free and Open Source Software as well as of competition and market in software business so far seem to be celebrating Microsoft being ‘defeated’ in its European antitrust lawsuit, while looking closer all is not well at all. Not that we did forget about the struggle against software patents in Europe, obviously this is “Plan B” after being forced to open up its communication protocols and interfaces. Reading through “Microsoft will trump EU competition ruling with patents”, a recent press release by Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure:


“The largest monopolist in history has faced down the largest economy in history,” says Benjamin Henrion of the FFII’s Brussels Office. “Microsoft will appeal, and the fines if ever paid are just a month or two of profits. Meanwhile Microsoft now has the time to crush its only real competition, the free and open source economy. We regret that the EU Commission and ECJ are blind to the real threat of software patents, while Microsoft cleverly exploits Europe’s own patent system against EU businesses. This is a defeat for Europe’s anti-trust, a defeat for the global economy, and I’m sure they’re popping the champagne in Redmond.”

Winning by losing? Perhaps, however, in light of the antitrust verdict, European legislative should indeed think twice about why to freely and easily grant monopoly rights on “innovation” and technology to companies that have been sued (and judged) right for abusing their (de facto) monopolies earlier… Two-faced politics? At least looking at software patents, indeed the current verdict is not worth a single Euro-cent. 🙁