Competition and Free Software

Free Software is all about competition. Free Software is software that allows anyone to

  • run,
  • examine,
  • modify, and
  • distribute software

A market containing Free Software cannot get any more competitive than that. Anyone can use and produce Free Software. Anyone can get into the business of creating, distributing and supporting Free Software or creating systems using it.

Free Software Foundation Europe wrote,
“Suggesting that the distribution of Free Software free of charge is harmful to competition is both wrong in substance, and dangerous to competition and innovation.”

see FSFE objects to claims of 'predatory pricing' in Free Software.

That’s from a letter to the powers that be in Europe in response to stories that M$ and “partners” are claiming Free Software (e.g. Android/Linux) is unfair competition. When these jokers claim that more efficient cooperative production and distribution of software is unfair to inefficient and restrictive distribution of software, it is time to give them a slap.

Anticompetition laws are not about excluding the little guy from the market but about including everyone. Free Software is a powerful tool to do that because the cost of entry is so low, just making a copy. Because M$ and others have vested interests in keeping the price of IT high in order to hide their outrageous margins is no reason to restrict Free Software.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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One Response to Competition and Free Software

  1. dougman says:

    Oh boohooo M$, karma is a big pain isn’t it?

    My how the times has changed. Giving something away free, is being unfair?? LOL…

    Bitching and whining about it will NOT fix the problem, neither will sueing and patent extortion. M$ should just build their own version of Android and just learn to cooperate and get along with others. However, since each division in it’s corporate structure won;t even do that, what makes you think they will with other companies??

    M$ has more failures pending, before it sobers and wisens up to the fact that they are NOT the king of the IT hill anymore. I have to say Google is, as they control 25% of ALL IT traffic in the world.

    For those trolls that seem to forget the past, here are some relevant links:

    Longtime Enemy Sues Microsoft, Claiming Practices Are Unfair – http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960724&slug=2340838

    MICROSOFT AGREES TO END UNFAIR MONOPOLISTIC PRACTICES – http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/Pre_96/July94/94387.txt.html

    Microsoft unfairly dominated the market. “All of Microsoft’s conduct was designed to acquire and hang on to their monopoly,” “Consumers were harmed by being deprived of choice.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0324-02.htm

    Everyone should start building Chrome apps to run their favorite application in Chrome and just tell M$ to piss off. http://developer.chrome.com/apps/first_app.html

    Windows 8 is not where the part is at. http://www.developer-tech.com/news/2013/may/01/windows-8-devs-bemoaning-lack-ad-money/

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