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Microsoft Seeks Experts to Corrupt Wikipedia Information on Open XML

Posted in Deception, Formats, FUD, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open XML is an important issue which revolves not only around Microsoft, but also around Novell, who promised to support this so-called ‘standard’ in OpenOffice (see previous stories on this topic). Wait until you hear a little more. Microsoft uses shills to spin the facts.

…I was a little surprised to receive email a couple of days ago from Microsoft saying they wanted to contract someone independent but friendly (me) for a couple of days to provide more balance on Wikipedia concerning ODF/OOXML.

This is not the first incident which involves shilling for what Groklaw calls “Monopoly enabler”.

Microsoft Has Begun Patent Trolling in SA, Novell Skeptic Responds

Posted in Africa, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amidst Novell’s new contract with BT, Derek Keats, whom we mentioned several times before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) has more to say:

Multi-nationals ignore South Africa patent law

“Does Microsoft intend to continue to break the law by filing software patents in South Africa?”

Also recall that Novell boasts protection from software patents in Europe, where these are not even allowed. This does not only lead to customer confusion. It potentially has a mental effect on lawmakers. Novell serves Microsoft desire to change the laws, which it perceives as illegitimate.

Update: I apologise for the duplicate. Hopefully the two posts complement one another.

Software Patents in South Africa, Microsoft’s Turn

Posted in Courtroom, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 1:53 pm by Shane Coyle

Recently, we outlined some of Stafford Masie’s comments at the CITI forum regarding Novell’s patent strategy in South Africa, which includes both “proactive counter patenting” while simultaneously working at the ministerial and even presidential level to eradicate them in South Africa..

Recently, Microsoft national technical officer, Potlaki Maine, attended the FTISA workshop on software and business method patents and found himself in the crosshairs of Professor Derek Keats:

“Does Microsoft intend to continue to break the law by filing software patents in South Africa?” This was the question Derek Keats of the University of the Western Cape asked Microsoft national technical officer, Potlaki Maine, in an open debate held at Freedom to Innovate South Africa’s workshop on software and business method patents last Friday.

Maine’s responded that all Microsoft’s patents had been filed through government channels and were completely legal. Keats retorted that although Microsoft had found a gap in the process of filling patents, they were still guilty of breaking the law.

This issue summed up the the problem FTISA wants to address: although software patents are not allowed in South Africa, this is not being enforced and software patents are still being filed.

South African law does not allow for patents on computer programs (section 25 (2) of the Patents Act No. 57 of 1978). Yet the problem is that, as a non-examining country, the patent office does not check the validity of the patent. The patent office only checks that payment has been made and that the correct forms are filled out. For this reason, software patents slip through the process illegally.

Linux Foundation Formed, Novell to Interview Jim Zemlin

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Interview, Novell, OSDL, Standard at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It is likely that you have heard already about the merger which turns OSDL (Open Source Development Labs) and the FSG (Free Standards Group) into the Linux Foundation. Whether you like this or not, Novell will soon release an interview with the FSG executive director. This loosely relates to Bruce Perens’ desire not to have Novell closely involved in directions which the Linux community takes. This deal may have already cost OSDL a decent proportion of its staff, due to its divisive nature.

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