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07.27.08

How Microsoft Exploits, Then Insults Developing Countries

Posted in Africa, Asia, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Microsoft, along with its close business allies in India, are once again trying to loot the nation. This time they work together not on the fight against ODF (which was fruitful to an extent) but on the fight for anti-Free software laws. They want software patents, despite the fact that their universal legality is in a bit of a limbo at the moment (more on that shortly).

IT majors like Infosys Technologies Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are opposing the open-source community’s demand that the government drop a clause in the draft patent examination manual as it gives scope for software patenting under the Indian Patent Act of 2003.

The IT majors made their opposition clear at a meeting in Delhi, called by the government’s department of industrial policy & promotion on Thursday. The dispute has been sparked by the draft manual that will guide patent examiners in their interpretation of the Indian Patent (Amendment) Act for software. Section 3(K) of the Act clearly says: “A mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms are not patentable.”

As a gentle reminder, these are the 'puppet voters' that tried to stuff the committees to promote Microsoft OOXML, despite it being a gross discriminant against the Indian people. This happened around the same time that charities across the country were seemingly bribed by Microsoft to pressure the government. There Indian businesses are, in essence, accomplices in Microsoft’s OOXML scandal and they truly deserve to be treated as multi-nationals that are enemies of their country.

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

Professor Deepak Phatak

South Africa knew far too well that OOXML and software patents were only intended to hand sovereignty to other countries. This angered Microsoft, which got even more aggressive. A Microsoft executives resorted to insulting South Africans, suggesting or at least insinuating they are stupid for not buying Microsoft.

Those in India who wish to fight this neo-colonialism/modern digital imperialism are asked to join forces and battle Microsoft’s latest attempt to change (bend) Indian law to its own advantage.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry hosted a “Stakeholders Meeting on the Draft Patent Manual.” Around 70 people attended this meeting. The audience was a mix of lawyers, industry associations like CII, FICCI etc, civil society organizations and industry.

[...]

At this point, the discussion became pretty heated and the chair of the meeting decided to call for a separate meeting on software patents. I’ll keep you updated.

There will be future meetings with plenty of opportunity to shoot down spurious intellectual monopolies. The Indian market is critical to Microsoft because of its scale and, having established a network of partners, Microsoft can — by proxy — represent other countries, trying to loot those countries using its US-based monopolies. Inability to stand up against this amounts to irreversible loss of freedom, liberty.

It’s important to point out that Infosys is already applying for software patents in the United States. Such intellectual monopolies, if/once granted, can be used to call other software vendors “criminals”, “thieves”, “pirates”. If the criminals can engage in crime to change the law (illegally), then they can call others “criminals”, using the very same laws they’ve just illegally created. It may be a tricky idea to get one’s head around. but it’s true.

“Such intellectual monopolies, if/once granted, can be used to call other software vendors “criminals”, “thieves”, “pirates”.”Speaking of corrupting one’s localised laws (with semi-legalised bribery and political manipulation), here is some food for thought. Using counterfeiters (not “pirates” because it’s always better not to parrot Hollywood’s daemonisation and propaganda terms), companies like Microsoft spread their software and have people dependent on it. At the same time, Microsoft insults developing countries for ‘stealing’ its software and, having neglected to stop this, it then describes it as goodwill, even 'charity'. To put this different , Microsoft punishes the very same people that popularise its software, perpetuate myths, and solidify the network effect.

Surely enough, many older examples exist. Consider, for instance, more recent incidents like the sabotage of a Fedora-based OLPC.

Then, consider the motives for dumping software on South African schools where not many students even have a computer. Microsoft has already endorsed so-called ‘piracy’ of its proprietary software as means of defeating Free software. Watch what it’s doing in Asia to prove that the biggest sufferer from so-called ‘piracy’ is Free/open source software.

Recall the impact of memoranda of understanding in various part of the world [1, 2], the cyber slavery in India [**] , the misuse of charities (see above), and control of the press. The list seems endless. Those who do not understand the negative impact of Microsoft just don’t know enough.

__
[**] Wipro Microsoft alliance is a shame for all Indians – alliance or slavery?

The alliance uses Microsoft technologies instead of challenging Gates in his own game. Wipro is just a servant of Microsoft facilitating Indian cyber slavery under the American corporate banners.

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