Italian court rules free software preference is legal
An Italian court has upheld the legality of a law passed by Piedmont Regional Council which expressed a preference to acquire free software when choosing programs for the authority. The Associazione per il Software Libero reports that the law, introduced just over a year ago, had been challenged by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The Presidency believed the preference was anti-competitive and referred the law to the Constitutional Court. The Court ruled on March 23rd that the preference to free software was lawful and complied with freedom of competition principles.
The court's judgement hinged on the court's view of what Free software meant, saying "The concepts of Free software and software whose code can be inspected do not refer to a particular technology, brand or product, by they rather express a legal feature". On this basis, it therefore noted that the law did not prefer any specific product or brand and did not create any issues under competition law.