To comply with the European Union’s antitrust rules, Microsoft says it will allow access to some source code–for a fee. But the EU now says the company can’t charge for the look-see unless the code is ‘innovative.’
The European Union’s antitrust boss said Tuesday that Microsoft can’t charge licensing fees for its source code unless it proves the programming is “innovative,” the latest to-do in the long-running hullabaloo between Europe’s governing body and the American developer.
Last week, Microsoft said it would license the source code to some portions of its Windows Server Workgroup software to competitors as a way of meeting the European Union’s (EU) demand for more and clearer documentation on the protocols covered by the EU’s 2004 antitrust decision. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief lawyer, said last Wednesday that the source code “is the ultimate documentation” and should satisfy the EU.
Not so fast said the EU. Not only did the body’s European Commission not request source code, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it had expressly warned Microsoft in December that access to the source code wouldn’t solve its problems.