A blog for the enterprise open source community
Microsoft backs down on EU open source interoperabilityMatthew Aslett, October 22, 2007 @ 10:51 am ET
I promise I’ll write about something other than Microsoft soon, but it does keep doing interesting open source-related things. This time, it has backed down and agreed to comply with its obligations following the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust decision, including sharing interoperability information with open source developers.
As European commissioner for competition, Neelie, Kroes, told the commission: “I told Microsoft that it had to make interoperability information available to open source developers. Microsoft will now do so, with licensing terms that allow every recipient of the resulting software to copy, modify and redistribute it in accordance with the open source business model.”
And that’s not all: “I told Microsoft that it should give legal security to programmers who help to develop open source software and confine its patent disputes to commercial software distributors and end users. Microsoft will now pledge to do so.”
The AP reports that “Daily phone calls between EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer over the past three weeks — and a dinner near her Dutch hometown — culminated in a deal in the early hours of Monday.”
Microsoft will now charge a fee of €10,000 for its technical documentation and will only charge for 31 protocols, according to the AP. Kroes noted that if Microsoft fails to stick to its agreement, competitors will be able to take it to the High Court in London to seek damages.
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