[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: EU antitrust is also cool (was: A new practical problem...)

On Wed, Feb 15, 2006 at 11:28:22AM +0100, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> On 2/14/06, Yorick Cool <yorick.cool@fundp.ac.be> wrote:
> [...]
> > Assuming you mean the FSF and/or GNU project, with whom are they
> > entering onto agreement? Mmmmh?
> I mean the GPL license.

The GPL is a text, not an undertaking you can sue under art. 81. Which
are the undertakings entering an unlawful agreement?

> >
> > Also, please have a look at 81 § 3.
> I did it.
> Now you please take a look at
> http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l26108.htm
> -----
> Licensing agreements that restrict competition are prohibited by the
> Community competition rules, and in particular Article 81 of the EC
> Treaty. In most cases, however, these agreements also have positive
> effects that outweigh their restrictive effects on competition. The
> new provisions, which comprise a "block exemption" regulation and
> guidelines, create an area of certainty for most licensing agreements.
> [...]
> These exemptions are granted on condition that the agreements do not
> contain certain restrictions that have serious anti-competitive
> effects.
> -----

The problem is that the GPL does not restrict competition, but rather
enhances it. See, among others, the very good article Ville sent you.

See also the very simple fact that GNU/Linux is the first serious
competitor to MS Windows to emerge in quite some time. This in and of
itself demonstrates a heightening in competition, not a restriction.

> And at
> http://www.terekhov.de/Wallace_v_Red_Hat_2nd_ANSWER.pdf
> Now please tell me where and why Wallace goes wrong regarding serious
> anti-competitive effects of the GPL license when used by a cartel of
> competitors to pool and cross license predatory price fixed
> intellectual property with the sole objective to eliminate free market
> competition.

The central fact is very simple: there is no price-fixing in the
GPL. The "conflation between the copyright assets and the physical
media" is not, in this specific case, illegitimate. Since any
distributor can fix any price for the distribution of the software, no
price is fixed for the *distribution* of the software. And what
competition law cares about is the price fixing of the
*distribution*. It does not matter much if a price is fixed on one
specific legal act if the price of the economic transactions involved
are still completely free. Nobody can require Red Hat to give out RHEL
for free because it entered a GPL agreement. This proves RH fixes it's
own prices, and is not bound by a price-fixing agreement.

On a sidenote, I am highly amused to see that RH and Novell have a
marxist-leninist agenda.

> <quote author=Stallman>
> In the GNU Project, discrimination against proprietary software is
> not just a policy -- it's the principle and the purpose. Proprietary
> software is fundamentally unjust and wrong, so when we have the
> opportunity to place it at a disadvantage, that is a good thing.
> </quote>

That is what competition is about. When MS can place free software at
a disadvantage, it tries to do so to. That's the magic of
competition. It is not illegal per se.

Also, please stop CCing people. I am subscribed to the list and don't
need your answers twice.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: