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04.10.08

Agents of Monopoly Abuse: Elżbieta Andrukiewicz, Jan van den Beld

Posted in ECMA, Europe, ISO, Open XML, Videos at 10:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft is GO[O|L| ]D”

The incompetent decision at ISO is far from a done deal and the next post will deal with some major developments. In this post, we wish only to expose a few individuals whose roles are sometimes referred to as "agents of monopolisation", or as a recent comment from PolishLinux puts it — “corporate zombies”.

Polishing the Vote

The first report is an update from PolishLinux, which has been keeping an eye on the fiasco in Poland [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. It turns out that Elżbieta Andrukiewicz, the lady who is claimed to have spread “Microsoft propaganda” and broken the rules, comes under scrutiny.

Tomasz Bednarski (Mandriva Poland) wrote a letter to PKN president, Tomasz Schweitzer, in which he expressed his concerns about the Polish OOXML ratification process which Bednarski took part of, as a member of the technical committee 182. We publish the translation of his letter and the response from Schweitzer.

[...]

So, it seems that the OOXML saga in Poland is far from over and there will be more proceedings in the nearest future, which we will pass to you as soon as we hear about them. Thank you for now.

Remember that in addition to the above, the European Commission is investigating this fiasco, even in Poland specifically. This was confirmed just over a week ago. This type of fiasco happened the second time around after a similar outrage broke loose back in September.

Polishing the Penny

The last time we wrote about Jan van den Beld was yesterday. A reader has just shared a pointer to a post containing the full video where Jan van den Beld is seen talking about the harms of multiple standards and also talks about his views on financial benefit. We covered this before, but the video (requires Flash by the way) makes a nice addition.

What does Jan van den Beld – former Secretary General of ECMA – have to say about multiple standards? He seems to be puzzled himself!

Quote from his presentation:

Q: Why do you want to have 5 [DVD related] formats? Do you still call that standardization?
A: You are well paid. Shut up

It becomes safer to conclude that a lot of people are talking for their wallet. The more evidence of this which we gather, the better. Marbux has sent us this pointer and while it lacks very concrete proof, it still makes an interesting read.

Private deal to approve OOXML? More evidence surfaces

Circumstantial evidence is mounting of one or more private deals having been struck to approve DIS-29500 Office Open XML (“OOXML”) as an international standard, a deal that may have played a role in several key national standardization bodies changing their voting position to approve OOXML.

Remember the last-minute involvement of even presidents of large countries? The decisions made were clearly motivated by politics and finance, not technical characteristics. In other words, the integrity of the process was subjected to corruption.

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