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Might Europe Reverse Accidental Discrimination Against Samba?

In order of relevance, see our previous coverage of reasons why the recent agreement in Europe is bad news for Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. The agreement, of course, may be good as a whole, but given Europe's win in this case, allowing somewhat of a defeat to be tolerated would be foolish.

Fortunately, it turns out that the European Commission has opened up its eyes to the issue. There is finally a Web page available to indicate this.

The changes mandated by the European Commission in Microsoft's interoperability licences will continue to block Open Source developers, legal experts on this type of software say.

"The agreement is going to run foul of the GPL," IT news site VNUNet quotes Mark Webbink, the director of the Software Freedom Law Center. The GNU General Public License is one of the most used Open Source licences.


Mind the source of this page (ec.europa.eu). Mark Webbink is used as a point of authority. As a reminder, the key issue here is patents because Microsoft strives to collect royalties merely for access to its protocols. This type of strategy pressures Samba and its users, who are naturally 'allergic' to software patents. Here is what Mark Webbink said about patents very recently.



Slashdot speaks about the deafening silence coming from the direction of those who once demanded a patent reform. They vowed to fight for a reform. Instead, nowadays, one of them in actually abusing the poor system and using it to his advantage.

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