02.01.11

France is Ambivalent on Microsoft’s Monopoly Abuse

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French text

Summary: While rulers of France are presenting themselves as buddies of Microsoft, the people of France work towards eradication of this monopolist

WHAT IS going on in mighty land of the French? In France, Sarko et al. (even François Fillon) are serving Microsoft, whereas the people actually seem to be genuinely interested in software freedom. It is sometimes discovered that no country in Europe has embraced Free/open source software as much as France has. So how do Microsoft’s lobbyists (including Bill Gates) manage to distort this country’s policies? Recently we saw the outrageous 'Linux/UNIX tax' in France and earlier today we wrote about despicable remarks from François Fillon. Glyn Moody is now pointing at this report (‘French Govt: Illegal Downloading is Like “Stealing from a Shop”’) as he asks, “how can a magistrate be so ignorant of the law?”

Magistrate with Hadopi, the govt organization tasked with overseeing the country’s controversial “three-strikes” legislation, says that “stealing a copyrighted movie or music file isn’t legally different from stealing a book or DVD from a shop,” and that even though the country’s “three-strikes” law is having a limited effect it’s still delivering the message that “illegal downloading is wrong.”

“Stealing”? Really?

Kaspersky, which was mentioned here before, is also being accused of “source-code theft” right now. That’s not stealing though, it’s copyright violation. We discussed the misuse of such words earlier this week in the TechBytes audiocast. The words “theft” or “steal” get repeated endlessly in this article, e.g.:

Kasperesky Lab says the anti-virus source code that one of its employees stole three years ago and distributed online cannot harm customers of the company’s current products.

The code was stolen by a worker who had access to 2008 code for the company’s consumer products and who tried to sell it over the Internet. He was found guilty of the theft in Russia and received a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.

To the credit of the French, while there is legal action in Italy over Vista 7 bundling (refunds are already becoming possible in Denmark, in Portugal, and in Brazil, with more articles coming from Brazil about Windows refunds throughout this past week), not much has been done recently in France (there was a major case a few years back)… until now:

French Court of Cassation threatens bundled software

The French Court of Cassation says European directive regarding unfair commercial practice must be considered when judging bundled software issues. That should help consumers all over Europe to overthrow bundled sales of software with hardware.

China's Windows preinstalls rates are slowing, probably signalling a quiet rise in GNU/Linux usage. It sure seems like the end of Windows dominance on the desktop (or desktops in general, as a principal form factor). The days of operating system monopolies are fast approaching now that Android becomes the leading mobile operating system, followed by other platforms which are not Windows (it had dropped rapidly).

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