Sunday, November 12, 2006

No conspiracy in free software

In a case heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Daniel Wallace argued that IBM, Red Hat and Novell were conspiring to deter competition by offering Linux for free under the GNU General Public License (GPL). After all, how can anyone compete with free? The court found that the companies were not guilty of predatory pricing, in which companies use artificially low prices to bankrupt the competition and then raise prices, because the GPL does not allow them to raise prices ever. "The GPL and open-source software have nothing to fear from the antitrust laws." Wallace v. IBM, No. 06-2454 (7th Cir., November 9, 2006).

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