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FSFE welcomes ADUC's class action against Microsoft
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the initiative for users' freedom taken by the Italian Association for Users and Consumers Rights (ADUC). On January 24, ADUC filed a complaint against Microsoft demanding that the company should reimburse consumers who return unused licenses for the Microsoft Windows operating systems that are pre-installed on newly bought computers.
Though almost all new desktop and laptop computers are sold with a pre-installed Windows operating system, Microsoft has consistently refused to refund the software's licensing costs to those customers who do not want to use the system. There is no transparency as to how much the user pays for the license, and how much for the hardware. For this reason, FSFE considers the class action taken by ADUC to be an important step towards achieving more clarity for consumers, and towards making it possible for computer buyers to return unused software licenses.
"This abuse has been going on for far too long", says Giacomo Poderi, Italian coordinator of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "Consumers are suffering from a lack of information, reimbursement procedures are mostly unclear or missing entirely, while hardware and software vendors are passing the buck when it comes to taking responsibility for this mess. As a result, consumers are being swindled out of what is due to them."
Carlo Piana, FSFE Legal Counsel and member of the lawyers' group representing ADUC stance in the class action, says:"It's time that consumers had a real choice. A working reimbursement mechanism by itself is not sufficient for free competition in the operating system market, but it's a necessary first step that we must take as soon as possible."
FSFE hopes that the Milan Court will decide that the the complaint is admissible, and that ADUC's class action will be successful. FSFE's Italian country team offers its support to ADUC in order to inform and reach out the widest possible number of those consumers who would like to make use of their rights.
Free Software Foundation Europe
Giacomo Poderi - Italian coordinator
E-Mail: italy - at - fsfeurope - dot - org
About the Free Software Foundation Europe
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit non- governmental organisation active in many European countries and involved in many global activities. Access to software determines participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study, modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issue of the FSFE.