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

08.27.08

Microsoft, TCS, DCI, Edelman, and Those Fake Letters About IP/SCO/Monopoly

Posted in Antitrust, Fraud, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s “letters from the dead” fiasco was discussed here before [1, 2], but once a careful look is taken, more can be found. There are a few more parties involved.

TCS’s articles have also complemented work being done by DCI. During 2000, Microsoft contracted with DCI to perform various services, among them generating “grassroots” letters opposing a breakup of Microsoft and launching Americans for Technology Leadership, an anti-breakup group funded in part by Microsoft and run out of DCI’s office. Meanwhile, down the hall, Tech Central Station went on the offensive, inaugurating an “anti-trust” section that over the coming months would publish little except defenses of Microsoft and attacks on the software maker’s corporate and governmental antagonists, with occasional detours into the subject of lawsuit reform. (Microsoft smartly plugged some of the articles on its own Web site.)

(More on the fake letters here; another bit of Microsoft astroturf here.)

With TCS pushing Microsoft’s agenda in one area, what do they publish about Open Source software, another strategic concern for Microsoft? To find out, I collected all the articles published in TCS on Open Source software and listed them in the table below.

The original from Talking Points Memo is no longer there. A lot more can be found here however. it’s an eye-opening analysis of lobbyists in the press.

Concentrating on Microsoft specifically, here is another oldie.

Ziffle passed along this note about Microsoft’s lobbying campaign to Utah attorney general backfiring. Apparently Microsoft has more support from dead people than Chicago Democrats.

In retrospect, this fiasco was useful because it is a good method for finding the relationships between various pressure/marketing groups and Microsoft. The Web Archive still has a copy of this article that’s no longer there. It moved here:

Letters purportedly written by at least two dead people landed on the desk of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff earlier this year, imploring him to go easy on Microsoft for its conduct as a monopoly.

The pleas, along with more than 100 others from Utah residents, are part of a carefully orchestrated nationwide campaign by the software giant that may be backfiring. Microsoft sought to create the impression of a surging grass-roots movement, aimed largely at the attorneys general of some of the 18 states that have joined the Justice Department in suing Microsoft.

The Microsoft campaign goes to great lengths to create an impression that the letters are spontaneous expressions from ordinary people. Letters sent in the last month are on personalized stationery using different wording, color and typefaces, details that distinguish Microsoft’s efforts from lobbying tactics that go on in politics every day.

Here is the Edelman connection.

Microsoft got grilled again earlier this month when details of its latest public relations campaign came to light. Working with Edelman Public Relations, the Redmond, Wash., software giant allegedly planned to launch a prefabricated “grassroots” campaign to aid it in its legal battles with the Justice Department and state attorneys general. The companies planned to use everyday citizens to plant letters to the editor and other materials that would make it seem there was an outpouring of public support for Microsoft.

This proves that Microsoft does a lot of its work by proxy, as it hired agencies to do its dirty work.

Edelman is the same firm that bribed bloggers with Windows Vista laptops [1, 2] and possibly got boycotted by some other publications for this behaviour. But time seems to heal many wounds and lift embargoes, too. How much can these people get away with really before law enforcers shut them down?

In order to defend itself from antitrust action, Microsoft is said to have also AstroTurfed in ZDNet.

The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.

Whether it was true or not, the behaviour lives on to this date. Microsoft employees (“evangelists”) market Microsoft products in ZDNet. How about this one from CNET (of Microsoft’s co-founder, Paul Allen)?

Microsoft paid for newspaper ads claiming to represent the independent views of 240 academic experts who said the government’s antitrust case against the software giant was hurting consumers.

The story “Microsoft secretly paid for ads for Independent Institute” published September 18, 1999 at 5:30 AM is no longer available on CNET News.com.

It’s becoming hard to know who to trust. Identifying points of deception and publicising it may be the most effective solution.

“Gates met Noorda briefly in San Francisco to discuss the merger [...] before the merger could go forward, he said Novell had to drop its plans to buy Digital Research. [...] when Noorda raised the possibility that the Justice Department might try to block a merger between the first and third biggest software companies on the planet, Gates responded, “Don’t worry, we know how to handle the federal government.” [...] Gates denied every saying such a thing

Source: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace

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. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day


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