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. Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

    In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end



  2. Speculations About Battistelli's End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

    Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO's leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli's protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave



  3. Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli's Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

    Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says



  4. Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

    A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality



  5. New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

    The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)



  6. Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

    The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)



  7. EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

    Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)



  8. Links 21/5/2017: Linux 3.18.53, Tizen 4.0

    Links for the day



  9. Cloudflare's Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

    With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide



  10. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  11. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  12. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  13. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  14. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  15. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  16. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  17. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  18. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  19. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  20. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  21. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  22. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  23. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it



  24. Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

    Links for the day



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IX: Using Confidential Medical Records as a Weapon Against Staff

    In defiance/violation of labour laws and medical oaths etc. the EPO is passing around medical information, either for dismissal pretexts or a sort of blackmail -- a serious abuse in its own right



  27. The EPO is in Disarray and Additional Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) May Be Imminent

    Team Battistelli reaps what it has sown, as complaints are being made to a court with “47 member states [that] are contracting parties to the Convention,” (European Convention on Human Rights) according to Wikipedia



  28. By Promoting the UPC, in Defiance of Public Will, the EPO Has Become Patent Trolls' Best Friend

    The patent–industrial complex, aided by the EPO under Battistelli's iron-fisted reign, is trying to convince us that the UPC is coming soon and that it is desirable (it's neither of those things)



  29. Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

    Links for the day



  30. Team UPC Still Twists and Fabricates Statements to Make It Seem Like Unitary Patent is Happening Soon

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC), a terrible system which was envisioned and covertly constructed by those who stand to benefit/profit from injunctions and trolling, is not going anywhere, but media which is dominated by Team UPC would have us believe otherwise


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