This Time We Mean It: Open Source Software Still Doesn't Violate Antitrust Law
from the this-again? dept
Some people just never give up. Take, for example, the case of a guy who didn’t like open source software because it made it more difficult for him to sell software. Last year, he sued the Free Software Foundation, claiming that the GPL open source license was “invalid” and was “fixing prices.” It didn’t take long for that case was dismissed. The guy also filed a case against IBM, Red Hat and Novell, which a judge also tossed out while trying to explain to the guy the finer points of antitrust law, including the fact that you need to actually show how the market has been harmed. The judge noted that just because one competitor can’t compete, that does not prove the market has been harmed at all, saying: “Antitrust laws are for ‘the protection of competition, not competitors.'” Apparently, that lesson didn’t sink in, and the guy appealed. But it should come as no surprise to find out that the Appeals Court has also dismissed the complaint, while once again trying to get across to the guy that just because he hasn’t figured out how to compete, it doesn’t mean that open source software is anti-competitive. The court notes numerous examples of companies who have been able to sell against free or open source products to show that open source software does not, inherently create a monopoly position at all. Hopefully we’ve now heard the end of such cases, but given his persistence so far, I wouldn’t bet on it.