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

06.08.08

Scum of the Day: Association for ‘Competitive’ Technology (ACT)

Posted in Europe, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A year later: GPLv3 won

It has been a long time since we last mentioned GPLv3 in the context of ACT (or vice versa). ACT has littered the World Wide Web with GPLv3 smears and libel, most likely on behalf of a very major client.

This apparently-national/global entity called “Association for Competitive Technology” (how ambitious a name!) is little more than the public face of Jonathan Zuck, who has a small lobbying firm/pressure group whose big customer is Microsoft. It pretends to be operating in the interest of small businesses, but it’s little more than a law-manipulating shill-for-hire pool — one that’s intended to serve large (and paying) customers.

“Microsoft was bound to be negatively affected and it couldn’t sit aside idly. It needed to throw a wrench in.”When GPLv3 made its debut — and even beforehand — there was a media storm that was intended to daemonise this good licence. The bad reputation was partly generated not by those who are open source developers but by those to whom Free software is a threat; a finance threat to be more precise. Microsoft was bound to be negatively affected and it couldn’t sit aside idly. It needed to throw a wrench in. To again credibility in its criticism, a seemingly broad mouthpiece (proxy) would be needed though. ACT was only one of them, but probably the most prominent one at the time.

FSF GNU GPLv3Palamida continues to track adoption of the GPLv3 and it indicates that the oceans of FUD Microsoft has bought itself, including low-key payments to academics (never forget academic kickbacks), were at best able to slow down — but never to defeat — adoption of this evolutionary licence.

The year has gone by quite quickly since the GPL v3 was first released. We have just entered into the month of the release, and it is only 23 days until a complete year has passed. It doesn’t seem like we have been tracking the GPL v3 and its derivatives for a year, but it is more believable when you look at the count. Cumulatively, the GPL v3 and its derivatives have gained over 2800 adopters, which is an impressive number. Thousands of projects have, and now we can more confidently say thousands more will adopt the GPL v3, proving its significance in the open source community.

The GNU GPLv3 gains acceptance

Surely enough, there will be those who are not easily convinced by empty accusations, so we bring back some articles from last year. Recall ACT and remember how much Microsoft loves them. It needs them, just like it needs CompTIA [1, 2].

It would only be fair to state what these pressure groups really are about. In practice, it’s little less than legalised bribery, a scam. Typical signs: pompous Washington-based people in suits and some name for a firm that’s intended to generalise and expand its scope. It make it seem like more than a one-man operation (Enderle ‘group’, anyone?) or a small part-time/casual group of affiliates. Had the congress been more ethical, groups like these would be shut down and declared illegal. But they are not declared illegal, so it’s something we must live with and at the very least inform people of.

Anyway, about ACT, consider again:

1. Perens Lashes Out at Claims GPL 3 Brings Legal Risks

“Let’s make it clear that [ACT] is Microsoft’s lobbying front and that they are going to paint as negative a picture as they can,” Perens told eWEEK in an interview.

“Obviously, GPL software is displacing Microsoft enough to have them concerned, and it’s doing it at customers who are important to them. A lawyer’s job is to scare the other side if they can–because they know it’s cheaper than winning a case in court,” he said.

2. ACT Warns of Legal Risk with Latest GPL Draft

But ACT, a Washington-based technology lobby group whose membership includes large companies like eBay, Oracle, Orbitz and VeriSign, and which was founded in 1998 in response to the Microsoft antitrust case, is largely dismissed by those in the open-source community as nothing more than a lobby group for the interests of Microsoft and those other large corporations.

3. Association for Competitive Technology

ACT has been accused of being an industry front for Microsoft, promoting a Microsoft-friendly agenda in relation to property rights and anti-trust legislation.

4. Open sourcerers do battle for GPLv3

Mark Taylor, a former head of the Open Source Consortium in the UK, thinks the whole thing is being blown out of all proportion.

He told us: “The only people worrying about the GPL draft are people like ACT. Everyone else is really pleased with the draft. The original GPL aimed to prevent deals like the one between Novell and Microsoft. They just found a loophole. This draft closes it.”

ACT wasn’t the only Microsoft lobbying front that battled GPLv3. There are the usual anti-Linux figures such as Dan Lyons and Rob Enderle. for example. To give you an idea of how it works, read the following old piece.

Some of the bad publicity about GPL3 is deliberate. A particularly bad article by Dan Lyons of Forbes magazine painted an offensive picture of GPL3 and Richard Stallman, even accusing Stallman of having sex with flowers (!!!) after Lyons failed to comprehend a scientific joke.

The GPLv3 FUD may have not been successful, but Jonathan Zuck and his vile lobbying arm are currently fighting for software patents in Europe [1, 2, 3, 4] and fighting against ODF (you can easily find Zuck slandering ODF in Congress and in the press).

ACT continues to do Microsoft’s crusades, which is why we write this post. It’s partly for future reference. Going back to the point made at the top, if Europe cannot declare this group’s activity illegal, it should at least block their arrival at the continent. Didn’t the Indian universities teach us a lesson quite recently about colonialism? Didn’t Malaysia and South Africa tell us how despicable lobbying arms can be? It shouldn’t be seen as just morally unacceptable; it should be considered corrupt. It needs to be stopped. Below we append some memorable quotes from last week.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau




“I have lost my sleep and peace of mind for last two months over these distasteful activities by Microsoft.”

Professor Deepak Phatak

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

A Single Comment

  1. Mark Blafkin said,

    June 17, 2008 at 5:31 am

    Gravatar

    We’re so excited about the award, we can barely contain ourselves!!! Just tell us where, when, what the dress code is (I’m assuming we may have to rent some of those tshirts with the tuxedo front printed on them), and we’ll be there!

    We just can’t believe we beat out the competition for this prestigious prize. There were so many other worthy candidates out there for Best GPLv3 Criticism campaign: the Debian Community, the Linux Kernel Development Team, and even Linus himself! Wow, we’re just in awe at the accomplishment…

    http://blog.actonline.org/2008/06/bust-open-the-c.html

What Else is New


  1. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  2. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  3. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  4. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  6. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  7. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  8. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  9. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  10. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  11. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  12. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  13. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  14. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  15. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  16. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  17. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  18. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  19. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  20. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  21. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  22. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  23. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  24. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  25. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  26. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  30. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows


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