Our involvement in the European Union policy goes back to 2001, when FSFE became an interested third-party in the Commission's antitrust case against Microsoft. Since then, we have kept on promoting Free Software by focusing on fundamental principles that must be respected, such as fair competition.
EU Policies overview: Free Software and Open Standards
Many countries in Europe have policies, laws or recommendations concerning Free Software and Open Standards. In collaboration with the Free Software community, we are preparing a comprehensive overview of these policies. We want to provide both activists and policy makers with a tool to compare the approaches that exist in different countries, and to learn from both good and less good practices. This is a work in progress. Please email anything you can add to <policies AT fsfeurope DOT org>, along with any comments you may have.
You can read more here.
EU Browser case
Free Software Foundation Europe supported the European Commission's antitrust investigation against Microsoft as an interested third party. The investigation began on the 16th of January when the European Commission DG Competition reported that it had issued a statement of objections regarding Microsoft's abuse of web standards and the tying of Internet Explorer (IE) to the Windows Operating System product family. It is based on a complaint submitted by Opera, a European company involved in web browser development, which FSFE publicly supported in 2007.
The European Commission is investigating the way Microsoft prevents competitors from interfacing with many of its desktop productivity programs. FSFE's President Karsten Gerloff says: "We welcome the Commission's decision to keep the interoperability investigation open while it monitors whether Microsoft's promises help to promote competition."
FSFE is also pushing for Open Standards, which are key to interoperability and as such FSFE promotes their adoption, especially through the revision of the European Interoperability Framework.
Other ongoing activities
- Horizon 2020
- 7th EC Framework Programme
- IPRED 2 - Criminalisation of copyright and trademark infringement
- SELF (Science, Education and Learning in Freedom)
What we achieved
- 2009/12/16: FSFE welcomes greater user choice in browsers, warns that Free Software is excluded from interoperability
- 2009/11/27: EC caves in to proprietary lobbyists on interoperability
- 2009/11/09: FSFE in battle for European interoperability
- 2009/10/08: Microsoft settlement leaves Free Software in the cold
- 2009/10/06: Microsoft antitrust case: FSFE offers analysis to European Commission
- 2009/07/28: EU browser case: FSFE says details of settlement will be crucial
- 2009/02/27: FSFE engages in the EU browser case
Documents and Publications
FSFE's contribution on collective redress (2011-04-30)
to the European Commission's public consultation "Towards a coherent European approach to collective redress".
FSFE's contribution on public procurement of Free Software (2011-04-18)
to the European Commission's public consultation on "modernisation of EU public procurement policy".
Analysis on balance: Standardisation and Patents (2008-12-02)
Following up on the "IPR in ICT Standardisation" Workshop two weeks ago in Brussels, FSFE president Georg Greve analysed the conflicts between patents and standards. The resulting paper is about the most harmful effects of patents on standards, the effectiveness of current remedies, and potential future remedies.
Free Software in Europe - European perspectives and work of the FSF Europe (2003-05-20)
An article explaining the large-scale beneficial aspects of Free Software in multiple areas and how Europe and the European countries can benefit from Free Software. (Published in the Spring 2003 issue of the Public Service Review - European Union with a foreword by Romano Prodi)