Bill Gates’ and Paul Otellini’s crimes against a charity be told
As you are possibly aware by now, Larry Lessig separated from his copyrights reform ambition (some would say “crusade”) after many years of never-ending realisation that corruption, not adverse rationale, was the barrier preventing change.
“He faced aggressive behind-the-scenes opposition from two companies that saw this as a threat to their quarterly revenue and shareholders.”It’s pretty much the same when it comes to software patents, standards and procurement. Those who have the money shelter existing outdated laws and protect them by extension to antiquated suppositions. Lessig then decided to dedicate the remainder of his career to fighting corruption.
Similarly, Nicholas Negroponte wanted to help children and bridge the digital divide using education, using free (libre) tools. He faced aggressive behind-the-scenes opposition from two companies that saw this as a threat to their quarterly revenue and shareholders. Negroponte was rocking very large boats that would lose a lot had his mission been allowed to survive. It’s not a mission of destroying companies but a mission which is focused on helping developing nations.
After an outburst that led to a vicious smear campaign against him (c/f more examples of recent smear campaigns), Nicholas Negroponte was more careful when it comes to telling the true story about OLPC. The truth must not be forgotten, however, and we have a lot of it documented under the following previous posts that contain lesser-viewed news reports:
- Patent Trolls, Intel and Microsoft Betray the Children
- Patents Versus Society (and That Intel-OLPC Story)
- It’s Not Dumping Because They Call it “Charity”
- Intel’s Corruptions Against Linux-run OLPC Reach New Heights
- Intel Sabotages Linux-based OLPC, Microsoft Wants to Hijack OLPC (with Windows)
- An Update on the OLPC Story: Intel, Microsoft and Money Games
It is highly ironic that Nicholas Negroponte was pulled into deals with the same people who systematically sabotaged his project in a "Slog"-like fashion (Microsoft’s in-house terminology). He reached agreements with Bill Gates and Paul Otellini [*], who tried to reduce the PR damage. It is not worth repeating the stories contained above. If you are unfamiliar with the story, however, do have a look. The media is too tightly controlled by the big corporations, so it’s unlikely that many people know the truth (nor that they ever will).
Intel and Microsoft are already under independent investigations in multiple continents at the moment, due to sheer monopoly abuse (Microsoft even risks an embargo in Europe). At this stage, Nicholas Negroponte wants to do whatever is best for the children, which is commendable, but he should also pursue justice, just like Lawrence Lessig. █
“Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type.”
–Bill Gates [about OLPC]
[*] Especially Craig Barrett should be blamed, based on misconduct and bad behaviour in practice.