Mandriva signs the AFUL petition "Non aux racketiciels" against tied sales
Posted on: 06/12/2007 06:23 PM
A press release from Mandriva:
Mandriva gives its support to AFUL's action against sales of bundled software.
Nowadays, when you buy a new computer, several pieces of software are already pre-installed, be it the operating system, antivirus software or burning software. It is almost impossible for consumers to know the selling price, contracts and conditions of use of these applications and, if they wish to, to refuse to purchase them.
On average, the price of this software constitutes between 10% and 25% of the purchase price of the computer - that is to say from 100 to 300 Euro. Although the French Consumer Code forbids tied sale of goods (the computer hardware) and services (software licenses), the situation continues and deprives consumers of real freedom of choice. It artificially prevents the spread of free software to the general public.
The AFUL working group against tied sales launched the petition "Non aux racketiciels" (No to "racketware")  in order to challenge the French authorities on this intolerable practice. Since 1999, this working group has accompanied and advised people who wish to claim refunds for the software licenses that they were forced to buy against their will with the computer (racketware). Launched in April 2006, the petition has more than 21,000 signatories and requests only the application of the law: everyone in France should have the choice not to buy what he or she does not want to use.
As UFC Que Choisir (French Union of Consumers) is suing hardware manufacturers and software retailers, another major party gives its opinion: Mandriva is now a signatory of the petition "Non aux racketiciels", along with the principal free software associations and other companies.
"It is a commitment in accordance with our values, our idea of free software and our mission of promoting Linux. We are in tune with the open source community which supports this action and has asked us to engage ourselves", explains Francois Bancilhon, CEO of Mandriva.
Mandriva offers choice to consumers. Today, in countries like Brazil, Argentina or Poland where users have the ability to choose the operating system installed with their computer, PC manufacturers sell tens of thousands of units every month with Mandriva Linux pre-installed.
"Pre-installed software may be useful for a large number of consumers, but not for all. Regardless, people still need to have the choice whether to use pre-installed software", said Francois Bancilhon.
Why can the French market not also profit from the end of the Microsoft monopoly? Why do the French state and the DGCCRF (French authority for competition, consumer issues and fraud prevention) not do their job?
About the signatories
Since 1998, AFUL (French speaking Linux and Libre Software Users' Association) aims to promote libre software, especially operating systems like GNU-Linux, and help spreading open standards. AFUL is a non-profit association that gathers users, professionals, companies and other associations based in more than 10 French-speaking countries and regions (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, French-speaking African countries, etc.).
Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, is the publisher of the popular Mandriva Linux operating system, one of the most full-featured and easy to use Linux systems. The company offers its enterprise, government, and educational customers a complete range of GNU/Linux and open source software and related services. Mandriva products are available in more than 140 countries through dedicated channels and also from Mandriva Store, the company's online store. Born in 1998, the company has offices in the United States, France and Brazil.