EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.27.07

How Microsoft ‘Bought’ Nicolas Sarkozy, France, and Parts of Europe

Posted in America, Deals, Europe, Fraud, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 12:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Further to this previous and recent post about Microsoft using Universities for marketing, we’ve received more information that will be handy in the future.

Last week we cited a French publication that spoke about Microsoft. Much more of the same sort of stuff was seen before. We became aware that, like Le Temps, Le Monde has a very limited article retention policy. Beyond that, old articles go into the archives which are available only for those who pay for access. It makes such information hard to get hold of.

”There were rumours that Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently became President of France, received support from Microsoft, which makes sense given his liberal market policies.“There’s more where that came from (and been interpreted by) one who done this sort of thing in the past — during the Microsoft anti-trust trial of the 1990s. He contributed some articles to a Web site called “billwatch.net”, which was run by a Dutchman named Case Roole. The Web site was devoted to studied criticism of Microsoft.

There were rumours that Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently became President of France, received support from Microsoft, which makes sense given his liberal market policies. Microsoft received some payback when his government recently passed a new law on the “autonomy of the universities”. One of the items of this law, which was protested through a strike of many students and professors, is that universities can now set up foundations by which they can receive funding from private sources.

Microsoft wasted no time in taking advantage of this new law. The University of Lyon 1 opened itself to the corporations. We received a translation of the first paragraph along with some quotes from the head of Microsoft France.

In full opposition to the Pécresse law on the autonomy of the universities (the announcement seems to be a thumb of the nose), Microsoft has signed a partnership with the Claude Bernard University at Lyon. The private group will bring 180,000 euros over 3 years, of which a third will finance the funding of study.

“It’s very useful for us to see how the teachers and the students use our technologies. That also helps us to understand the graduates and the types that come from the unversity for our recruitment.”, explains Eric Le Marois, the education director of Microsoft France.

“We will bring teaching content with IT Academy but the teachers will be free to use it or not. It’s the same thing for free software, the university could use them if it wishes”, replies Eric Le Marois (no influence but “propositions”).

There is more information about this in student-partners.com (the site is down at the moment, with a Microsoft server error). Another separate source got in touch to say this about the previous post:

It’s officially not covert, but they do seem to avoid bringing attention to it. Kind of like the surveillance options in Windows, much of it is described right there in the EULA.

It’s been going on for a while. I saw the English language announcement a while back (some time in the last 2 years) and now wonder what role these fifthcolumnists have in undermining the infrastructure at some universities

It is also worth noting that the “Microsoft Research INRIA Joint Centre” opened at the beginning of 2007 (INRIA being France’s national computational research organisation.) It’s understood that this followed an infusion of Microsoft money, but the process of opening this organisation began in 2006 before Sarkozy was elected as president. I’ve personally known people from INRIA since 2004 (my research peers or colleagues in the field of machine vision).

Our anonymous contributor believes that this is very similar to how things work in the United States (which Sarkozy professes to admire though he doesn’t speak good English). Sarkozy apparently already receives some small ‘rewards’ from a Microsoft executive. A little bit of a recall brings up the following recent article.

“[French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and his family have been vacationing at a lakefront estate in Wolfeboro owned by former Microsoft Corp. executive Michael Appe. The president was previously photographed relaxing dockside in his swim trunks.”

Surprisingly perhaps, it’s MSNBC with the report. This was actually covered in some other news outlets other than MSNBC, which is, as the name implies still associated with Microsoft, no matter how many attempts are made to deny this after a breakup.

To say more on this, there is no “holy grail” incident which is a reference for direct Microsoft funding of Sarkozy. All one can trivially find are some indirect evidence such as that he took his summer vacation in New Hampshire, USA at the residence of a former Microsoft executive (see above).

A quick search on the Web says more about this incident, and beyond it. Now, consider what happened in France when OOXML was discussed:

Apparently, the French discussion on OOXML broke into something resembling a bar-fight.

[...]

Matters soon got out of hand: the shouting seems to have climaxed with the Microsoft representative insulting the management of AFNOR, members of the Defense Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Interior Ministry, and two members from the Industrial Ministry exclaiming that they were servants of a banana republic!

We actually covered this here before. It received little or no media coverage at the time.

Don’t forget the recent DMCA law which practically forbids playing DVDs using an open source library that is necessary. It is under Sarkozy’s watch that the DAVDSI (French equivalent to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act) has been expanded further.

Open source groups asked all of the candidates of the last presidential election about their positions on software patents and free software. All candidates except Sarkozy defended free software. Instead, Sarkozy defends “intellectual property” and the “right” of businesses to control it. Overall, his response was deemed to be quite negative by free software advocates.

Additionally, there is now a regime in place which requires ISPs to report anyone who uses P2P file sharing to a governmental body and to shut them down if their P2P usage is deemed to be “abusive.” That appears to be the latest sign of digression. Another riot ensued when laws that are associated with BIOS got introduced.

To show you how these things work, consider this video from last year. It shows Greece’s blind agreement with Bill Gates. The consultation and agreement seems like a personal relationship more than a broadly-accepted decision.

Here is the video’s description:

This video presents the signing of an agreement between the Greek Government and the Microsoft Corporation in the context of the Digital Strategy 2006-2013 for Greece. It includes statements of the Greek Minister of Economy and Finance G. Alogoskoufis and the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates (Lisbon, February 1, 2006).

There are many more examples (just appended below to maintain brevity). When the Danish authorities get invited to Bill Gates’ house (amid movements towards open source and open standards) , that ought to mean something. Mind also the following:

Gates blackmailed Danish gv’ment

Microsoft boss Bill Gates threatened to kill 800 Danish jobs if Denmark opposed the European Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, reports today’s Danish financial daily Børsen, quoted by NoSoftwarePatents.com.

Many more examples are appended below, with plenty available upon demand. Their purpose is to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue at hand.

Recently in this Web site (reverse chronological):

Other older articles of interest:

It now appears that Lehne works as a Brussels lobbying consultant for multinational corporations who are the main clients of one of the leading lawfirms for patent litigation in Europe, which is also itself involved in patent lobbying and closely connected to lobbying organisations.

Lately, many signs exist showing how Microsoft’s monopoly power extends to government and media. We can add a new example to this list: The “Vienna conclusions”. It seems, their power even extends to distorting findings in official UN documents. The story contains all usual elements: Sponsorship, not willing to participate in public discussions, a conflict of interest of one of the members of the committee, and a Microsoft PR worker making a ridiculous statement. After that, of course, Microsoft denied most of it and ignored the rest.

A suspected manipulation of a consultation on the future patent system of the European Union led to the EU Commission being nominated for the less-than-prestigious award — which the Commission promptly went on to win in the category “Worst Privileged Access.”

leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread adoption of open-source software.

Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development.

The study, commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, is but a small part of the larger FLOSSPOLS project that aims to keep the EU a leader in global development of open source software.

[...]

Now, the ISC is widely regarded as a shill for Microsoft, although the member list also includes companies like Intel, Autodesk, and RSA Security (now an EMC subsidiary). The 300-strong member list is mostly padded with lesser lights such as Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi (Turkey), ThreeSixtyDegreez (Pakistan), and Datoprogrammu Apgads (Latvia). The institute pushes hard for the right to patent software, alongside regular bashings of open source businesses.

A European Commission official originally chosen to lead its antitrust case against Microsoft left on Friday last week to work for a consultancy that has the software firm as a client, a spokesman said.

Before C. Boyden Gray was named as George Bush’s number one person in Europe, he was a lawyer lobbying on behalf of Microsoft.

A similar report on China and Asia is on its way as well.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. Mark Mouse said,

    December 27, 2007 at 9:17 am

    Gravatar
  2. Roy Bixler said,

    December 27, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Gravatar

    On the light side, I found the article below on Sarkozy’s visit to New Hampshire where he yells in French at some photographers in a boat which he thought was too close.

    http://www.simpleenglishnews.com/19088nich.shtml

    There is also the following entry in his English Wikipedia article:

    … he entered the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris
    (1979-1981) but failed to graduate from it due to an insufficient
    command of the English language.

    So it seems he doesn’t speak good English. I wonder then, why does he admire the US? Is it philosophical, financial, both? I suppose the location was convenient to schmooze with the US President at his summer home, but he certainly wasn’t there to soak in US culture.

    He seems to have a penchant for taking his vacations at the hospitality of rich businessmen. His New Hamshire visit was at the mansion of a former Microsoft executive and he flew on a private jet owned by another businessman Vincent Bolloré to his Egyptian vacation.

  3. Stephane Rodriguez said,

    December 28, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Gravatar

    His father, Pal Sarkozy moved off Hungria right after the end of WWII to go live in the US for a while, then went to France. Hence US will always be seen by the Sarkozy family as a better country (to live). There is more about Pal Sarkozy, from a business point of view, can be found with Google. It is also important to remind that Pal Sarkozy moved off Hungria to avoid being jailed for collaboration with the nazi regime.

    PS : people here in France don’t like Sarkozy. He owns the media (his friends own the press and also happen to be the executives of the military/weapon industry), so barely any negative article about him gets past the filter.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 28, 2007 at 2:18 am

    Gravatar

    He owns the media (his friends own the press and also happen to be the executives of the military/weapon industry), so barely any negative article about him gets past the filter.

    I guess I can understand just why him and Microsoft found commonality (or common grounds).

  5. Jeff said,

    January 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    @ Roy
    I wouldn’t go as far as comparing Microsoft to Sarkozy.

  6. Pendrive said,

    January 16, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Gravatar

    It’s very good article. Great site with very good look and perfect information.

  7. youtube said,

    February 22, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s very good article. Great site with very good look and perfect information.

    videoay.com
    diziturka.net
    sihirlikuyu.com

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  2. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  3. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  4. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  5. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  6. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  7. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  8. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  9. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  10. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  11. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  13. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  14. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  15. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  16. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  17. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  18. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  19. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  20. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  21. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  22. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  23. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  24. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  25. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  26. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  27. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  28. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  29. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  30. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts