On Friday, Free Software Foundation Europe asked the European Commission to create a legal avenue for citizens seeking collective redress against companies. In its contribution to a public consultation by the Commision, FSFE argues that consumers should be able to join forces in order to defend their rights against harmful business practices.
"Collective redress" is a legal concept which allows citizens and businesses that are individually harmed by illegal behaviour of a given company to bundle their claims in a single procedure. Not only does this simplify the process and reduce costs. Since starting a lawsuit on a personal basis carries great financial risks, for most citizens collective redress is also the only realistic path to take legal action against bad business practices.
Being concerned with numerous complaints over pre-installed Microsoft Windows operating system, FSFE has provided the EC with its vision of the main principles for a collective redress procedure which would make it easier and more effective for consumers to act against monopolistic marketing practices.
In March, FSFE announced its support for the class action sought by Italian consumers association ADUC against Microsoft's persistent failure to reimburse unwanted operating system licenses which consumers had acquired together with computers.