Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Files Revised Documents with EC

CNNMoney reports that Microsoft has met the EC deadline, and has submitted revised documentation including the technical information required to interoperate with Windows. It will take months for the committee to review the documents to determine if Microsoft is now in compliance:
At the same time, a Monitoring Trustee appointed by the Commission will test the documentation.

If the Commission decides that the documentation is acceptable, it will face the question of whether the price Microsoft plans to charge for the protocols is justified.

Microsoft could face further fines if the Commission finds that the price was based on Microsoft's exercise of monopoly power rather than on the originality of its product.


The price for the protocols? Wanna bet that price is in line with what Novell just agreed to pay, with similar restrictive license terms?* By agreeing to this deal, Novell is now saying that the Interoperability Protocols are indeed original, and deserving of licensing and paying royalties.

Novell is helping Microsoft exclude Free Software projects from interoperating with Windows without paying royalties, and then you won't be able to redistribute the code - so I guess no GPL if you want to talk to Windows, or I suppose you could use Novell's distro - it has patent indemnification straight from Microsoft.

---

* UPDATE:

I was digging some more, reviewing some old Groklaw articles from around the time of the Antitrust ruling, and stumbled upon an article from January 2005 that linked to Microsoft's proposed terms for complying with the ruling. Read through the terms of the various license flavors (pdf links), and also review the program entry requirements including:

SECTION C: REQUIRED PAYMENTS

For each separate Work Group Server Protocol Program License Agreement for Development and Product Distribution identified in the table above as requiring a payment, a prepaid royalty payment of €50,000 is required. These prepaid royalties are nonrefundable unless your participation in the Work Group Server Protocol Program is terminated because you do not complete other Program Entry Requirements.

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