Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

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.

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  • identicon
    David, 9 Nov 2006 @ 1:44pm

    Let it go to the top

    Let him force it through. I love good precedent being set.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 9 Nov 2006 @ 2:10pm


    If the **AAs and their frivolous lawsuits were brought before some of these judges they could explain not all music listeners are criminals and tell them to stop trying to rewrite the law to compensate for their lack of innovation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Solo, 9 Nov 2006 @ 8:10pm

    Open Office vs Microsoft maybe?
    $0 vs $695

    Yet the Microsoft version sells.

    Admitedly, if you are in the business of overpriced web based email or task list or calendar, yes, things are a little harder...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ed, 10 Nov 2006 @ 4:53am

    Some perspective point of view


    Let me try to explain it:

    Since Linux and other New Open Source came in place,
    Open Sourse enhance, empower, fuelling the competition.

    I'ts important to point out that the many Operational System or Office Systems can be free, but the support is not. You'll need to pay a fee to an annual support. Also, you'll see many systems around open source not free. Yes, some more sofisticated are charged.

    What differs is the manner to do business and make money.

    Ask for the guys at IBM, Novel, etc if they are doing money or not ???

    Unfortunately some people can't get it.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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