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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  2. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  3. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  4. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale



  5. As Andrei Iancu Removes Himself From the Patent and Trademark Office All Eyes Are on Biden's Next Nomination

    Patent zealots and their front groups already lobby Joe Biden to put one of them in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; we'll soon see if Joe Biden "means business" or simply means monopoly/large corporations (and their law firms/departments)



  6. Data Point: GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops Nearly Tripled in the Past Decade, Peaking This Past Month (All-Time High)

    Contrary to what some publishers try to tell us, GNU/Linux is still growing and mostly at the expense of Windows



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 23, 2021



  8. Links 24/1/2021: Nouveau X.Org Driver Release and GhostBSD 21.01.20

    Links for the day



  9. InteLeaks – Part XXX: Harbor Research's Pseudo-scientific 'Research' for Intel, Bizarrely Suggesting a Microsoft Partnership for a Domain Largely Controlled or Dominated by Linux

    The full document that Intel paid for and in turn used to justify cracking down on Free software (obliterating Free software-based workflows inside Intel), instead outsourcing all sorts of things to proprietary software traps of Microsoft



  10. Chromium and Chrome Are Not Free Software But an Example of Microsoft-Fashioned Openwashing Tactics

    It's time to reject Google's Web monopoly (shared with other companies but still an oligopoly); removing its Web browser would be a good start



  11. Links 23/1/2021: Chromium Pains and New Debian Maintainers

    Links for the day



  12. InteLeaks – Part XXIX: Harbor Research Did Not Produce a Study But an Elaborate Hoax for Intel, Suggesting Microsoft Partnership and Outsourcing Based on Zero Evidence and No Solid Rationale

    The pseudo-scientific ‘report’ from Harbor Research is more of the same nonsense we’ve grown accustomed to; unethical if not rogue firms are being paid to lie — or to perpetuate falsehoods which someone stands to gain from



  13. Video: The State of Communities Surrounding GNU/Linux Distributions

    A discussion about the state of volunteer efforts going into the development, maintenance (in the 'maintainership' sense) and support/advocacy of GNU/Linux distros



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 22, 2021



  15. InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed 'Findings'

    Findings and recommendations from Harbor 'Research' aren't based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)



  16. Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

    Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there's an exodus back to real communities, which aren't subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don't care for software freedom



  17. The Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  18. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  19. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  20. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 21, 2021



  22. InteLeaks – Part XXVI: Harbor Research is Horrible 'Research', Lacking Actual Technical Background

    Having looked at the members of staff of Harbor Research (individually), it seems clearer now why they have an affinity for Microsoft and why they're directing Intel to liaise with Microsoft and become a prisoner of Microsoft (even in areas where Microsoft is increasingly irrelevant)



  23. Links 21/1/2021: Raspberry Pi Pico, Ubuntu 21.04 Picks GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

    Links for the day



  24. How a Newly Inaugurated President Biden Can Advance Software Freedom (If He Actually Wishes to Do So)

    Techrights has 'Four Suggestions' to President Biden, the 46th 'front end' of American plutocracy



  25. InteLeaks – Part XXV: Intel's Brain Drain Leads to Unusual Measures

    As the company once known as 'chipzilla' loses its relevance and dominance in the market it's reaching out to retired people, trying to get them back onboard



  26. Hey Hi (AI) is Just a Trojan Horse for Illegal Software Patents, According to EPO Management and Litigation Firms It's in Bed With

    The longtime pushers or the lobby of patent profiteers just carry on pushing for software patents, nowadays latching onto the inane and unwarranted media hype around Hey Hi (AI) — a hype wave that was co-opted by EPO management to grant unlawful patents



  27. The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

    The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff



  28. InteLeaks – Part XXIV: Love for Microsoft, Not for Free Software or Whatever Replaces Microsoft

    Intel is basing its big decisions on buzzwords and firms that master buzzwords; it's sad that instead of listening to Intel's own (in-house) engineers it's relying on a bunch of clowns who push 'Clown Computing' and 'apps' and 'UX'...



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 20, 2021



  30. Links 21/1/2021: Google Tightens the Screws on Chromium, VideoLAN VLC 3.0.12

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts