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

07.24.08

Sharing a Bed at OSCON with “the Next SCO Group”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, SCO at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.”

Bill Gates

A

lot of ambitious people turn soft at the sight of money. That’s just how Microsoft manages to infiltrate so many open source events and share its own (self-serving of course) point of view. The monopoly needs to build and defend the illusion that it’s just a friendly scorpion. While many inside Microsoft might believe this, the top management at Microsoft does not. it’s a publicity stunt, as proven several times in the past.

“It’s means of pressuring them to open up their gates to Gates.”Those who organise an open source event and refuse Microsoft’s attendance will most likely be called names. It’s means of pressuring them to open up their gates to Gates. Just watch Microsoft’s persistence with the OSA. A lot of this was dealt with before, so it needn’t really be repeated or elaborated on. OSCON was already mentioned yesterday. Also see our writings about OSBC 2008 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and the issue of personal proximity.

At OSCON, Microsoft presence could not be ignored. In panels comprising only corporate players, Microsoft apparent role was irksome to some. Need it be mentioned that Microsoft paid OSCON (O’Reilly) for this? Mind our highlight in red.

Let’s rewind a bit. My Monday afternoon at OSCON 2008 was taken up by “Participate 08″, a Microsoft-sponsored discussion panel chaired by a whole panopoly of folks — including, yes, an open source liaison from Microsoft. The whole thing was neither a “corporate apologia” (as one wag put it from the audience) nor a pile-on where Microsoft got the worst of it. Their approach was only one of a diversity of perspectives, and sometimes not even the most eyebrow-raising.

Remember that Microsoft is also behind OSBC, which is about ‘commercialising’ “open source” — whatever that actually means. In the last OSBC event, Microsoft stole the show with a talk about software patents. That was Brad Smith and his keynote. It ruined the conference, which was sponsored (and apparently initiated) by Microsoft anyway. Shades of SourceForge (hijack, then instill fear and change principles).

Here is another interesting article.

The biggest sparks flew over the question of motivation — why individual developers choose to participate in open source. Several of the panelists mentioned pragmatic motivations such as self-education, career development, and desire to be associated with what is perceived as a successful and ethical movement. Since those motives apply to corporate participation, this line of discussion prompted audience member Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center to ask the panel whether the session was a cheerleading session for commercial open source.

[...]

Interestingly enough, the topic Lakhani predicted would elicit the most debate — intellectual property — provided well-balanced, reasoned discussion.

All panelists agreed that IP was important in open source software. As Randall pointed out, if the framework of software licensing created to serve the proprietary software industry did not exist, then the GPL would not exist either. O’Mahony added that many nonprofit entities use IP law to accumulate, integrate, and protect information that is vital for future development.

Urlocker described MySQL’s frustration with software patents, including waffling on behalf of hybrid proprietary/open source companies, and fear on the part of pure open source organizations that lacked the resources to wage a legal fight over software patents.

Wilbanks lamented use of the blanket term “intellectual property” to conflate copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law — concepts that have little to do with one another. Copyright law is incredibly powerful, written to serve publishers, and hinges on one fundamental: the right to sue someone else. Under these circumstances, he said, “we’re boned.” In the future, he hoped, open source can make better use of trademark concepts like branding — where the fundamental issue is the right to associate your work with something valuable. When the desire to claim association with a brand like “open source” is of bigger concern than the desire to sue, the conditions will be right for open source to thrive.

Lastly, see this blog post from a Sun/MySQL executive. He reminds us of how irrelevant Microsoft becomes to developers (Novell, Miguel de Icaza and their followers aside).

One skeptic remarked to me after the panel session that for Microsoft this is just a “photo op.” That is, it’s more about the appearances than anything else. I’m not sure whether that’s the case or not, but it’s still a question in many people’s minds. And as Brad Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center pointed out, many people still remember when Microsoft was trying to kill open source.

The irony of all this is that I think Microsoft is at risk of missing out on the next generation of developers. What’s in use at the hot startups these days? Hint: it’s not about VB, C# and .Net. Even startups by ex-Microsoft folks at companies like iLike are using the LAMP stack. I think for a lot of developers, Microsoft is less and less relevant. Which is a shame.

People deserve to know what Groklaw has to say about all of this Pamela Jones wrote: “I think it’s dangerous to let them anywhere near anything that matters until they pledge not to sue FOSS over patent infringement. All they are doing now is taking notes, I believe, and I am confident it will use what it learns against the community when it feels like it. And I wish everyone would get a bit smarter, so we at Groklaw and the legal contingent of the FOSS community don’t have to fix the mess you make. Yes. Seriously. I would suggest treating Microsoft as if they were already suing you personally. Because I believe they will.” She also believes that Microsoft is the next SCO.

At times like these, when Microsoft is quietly struggling, the worse one can do is throw Microsoft a bone. It’s prepared to bite. In order to understand the severity of the issue and of Microsoft’s fears, read this article from last night:

Top Microsoftie Jumps Ship

[...]

The loss of Johnson comes as a blow–he was widely considered to be in the running to one day succeed CEO Steve Ballmer.

In some people’s eyes, Microsoft has just lost its #2 man only weeks after Bill Gates had stepped down.

If some people out there still believe that Microsoft ‘understands’ (or groks) open source — let alone “open” — this one is a must-read for them.

Redefining Openness (with lawyers)

Ah, there we go! The surprise of the day really comes from -would you have guessed it?- Microsoft.

[...]

Now that’s an open standard of the open kind, open as in “open, but not open”; “open but actually quite closed” “open but get out of here”, open as in “open to the good old boys”, open as in “open to your money and to our profits”, open as in “open deception”. And of course, who thought OOXML could be that open? I’m sure the rest of my colleagues at the Afnor will be left in shock and awe when they learn the news. Everything they ever truly believed in , OOXML, was never thought in those terms. I can’t wait for XPS, guys, we’re going to have tons of fun, really. I am also waiting for Microsoft’s possible, albeit unlikely, explanation to this. I’m laughing so hard I’m about to roll on the floor.

Never forget what Microsoft once said about “openness”.

[More Open Than Open]: “I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Jason Matusow, arrogant xenophobe from Microsoft (for some background see [1, 2])

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

What Else is New


  1. FOSSPatents Conference is Against FOSS, Promoting the FOSS-Hostile Construct Known as RAND or FRAND

    Do not be misled by the term Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in the name FOSSPatents and whatever relates to it (e.g. FOSSPatents Conference); it's not about FOSS but against FOSS, or pro-FRAND



  2. Europe is Under Attack

    European politicians or political candidates pretend to be 'candid'; but they're agents of Power, or put another way, they're there to make the rich and powerful class even richer and more powerful by passing new, ruinous laws in the name of 'the people' or 'for SMEs'



  3. Links 15/11/2019: New Opera and Brave, GNU/Linux Flatpa(c)ked

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 14, 2019



  5. Understanding Thierry Breton: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France

    "In each of these cases, the suicide served as a symbolic act of protest to denounce workplace conditions at France Télécom and attract public attention to its practices."



  6. Thierry Breton's Video/Live Grilling is Over, But the Grilling Continues Online

    Elite politicians aren't reluctant to give Thierry Breton the high seat (or throne); but everyone else realises that this resembles a corporate takeover more than anything



  7. The EPO's Low Patent Quality is Not Just Suicidal; It is Illegal

    With help from the besieged Boards of Appeal (BoAs), which complain that they can no longer judge cases (appeals/referrals) autonomously and independently, the Office in Munich continues to grossly violate the EPC and mimic China's ridiculously low patent bar, which even formally permits patents on algorithms



  8. Links 14/11/2019: Mesa 19.2.4 and GCC 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals' Voice Hijacked)

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they "love" us while they're attacking us and sometimes suing us)



  10. Techrights' Interpretation of Koch v EPO: The EPO's Management Still Attacks Staff Representatives

    The EPO hopes to get its victims (of EPO abuse) to not only foot their own bills but also the EPO's



  11. Understanding Thierry Breton: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom

    The psychological harassment of the France Télécom workforce led the "suicide wave" after Breton had left France Télécom



  12. The Breton-Battistelli Relationship and Breton Hiding His Employment Record at Rothschild & Cie Banque

    EPO scoundrels such as Battistelli are closer to Breton than most people care to realise; Breton is hiding part of his career ahead of today's grilling



  13. A Lot of EPO Staff on Dutch Land Protested (Despite Abusive Threats From Management) and a Strike is Reportedly Next

    EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 13, 2019



  15. Links 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  17. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  18. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  20. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  21. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  22. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  23. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  24. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  25. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  26. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  27. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  28. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  29. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  30. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions


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