from the windows-refund dept.
The Free Software Foundation Europe(FSFE) (no connections to the Free Software Foundation(FSF), despite the name) has logged a win in Italy in court for the freedom to choose the operating system on new computers. Luca Bonissi won after two years of court battles. He won the first round in a kind of small claims court, but Lenovo responded by lawyering up and attacking. The court eventually rejected all of Lenovos argument, confirming that the right to reimbursment for pre-installed software is due. Further, an additional 20k EUR in damages were awarded to Bonissi.
In a historic judgment in Italy, in a case initiated by FSFE supporter Luca Bonissi, Lenovo was ordered to pay 20,000 euros in damages for abusive behaviour in denying to refund the price of a pre-installed Windows licence. In a motivating gesture for the Free Software cause, Luca donated 15,000 euros to the FSFE.
[...] It should go without saying that everyone should be able to freely choose the operating system to run on their personal computers. Free Software is about granting the liberty for people to freely run software they desire and, consequently, decline the software not respecting their freedom. But Microsoft and the vast majority of hardware manufacturers dishonour this principle by dictating which operating system their customers must use, forcing them to run Windows even when they simply do not want to.
(2014) Windows Tax now Illegal in Italy
Italy's High Court has struck a blow to the practice of forcing non-free software on buyers of PCs and laptops. According to La Repubblica [Google translation], the court ruled on Thursday that a laptop buyer was entitled to receive a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license on his computer.
The judges sharply criticised the practice of selling PCs only together with a non-free operating system as "a commercial policy of forced distribution". The court slammed this practice as "monopolistic in tendency". It also highlighted that the practice of bundling means that end users are forced into using additional non-free applications due to compatibility and interoperability issues, whether they wanted these programs or not.
"This decision is both welcome and long overdue", said Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "No vendor should be allowed to cram non-free software down the throats of users."