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

10.07.08

Threats Are Cheap

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, ISO, Microsoft at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

The usual crony/ies appear to be resorting to intimidation now that OOMXL texts are out there for all to view (and no, it’s not just in Boycott Novell as other Web sites got hold of the files around the same time it circulated, and published them too). The files could also reach Wikileaks, so what’s the difference? There’s none.

Let’s set the record straight: The OOXML saga has been corrupt from start to finish. Will anyone try to challenge the strong and extensive evidence? Good luck with all that. As a matter of fact, even the man on top of the process has already admitted that it had gone awry. To quote:

“This year WG1 have had another major development that has made it almost impossible to continue with our work within ISO. The influx of P members whose only interest is the fast-tracking of ECMA 376 as ISO 29500 has led to the failure of a number of key ballots. Though P members are required to vote, 50% of our current members, and some 66% of our new members, blatantly ignore this rule despite weekly email reminders and reminders on our website. As ISO require at least 50% of P members to vote before they start to count the votes we have had to reballot standards that should have been passed and completed their publication stages at Kyoto. This delay will mean that these standards will appear on the list of WG1 standards that have not been produced within the time limits set by ISO, despite our best efforts.

The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees. I am glad to be retiring before the situation becomes impossible. I wish my colleagues every success for their future efforts, which I sincerely hope will not prove to be as wasted as I fear they could be.”

Martin Bryan, ISO ‘Escapee’
Formerly Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1

Throughout this appalling process, some people lost their jobs. Many others were smeared by anonymous characters and even directly, i.e. by Microsoft employees. It is all well documented.

The text in question (OOXML) is appalling in terms of quality and yet it was kept secret and hidden away from the very same people whom it affects. This is transparency?

There are two issues of transparency here:

  1. Transparency of technical documentation. How can a standard ever be called “open” if not even the terms of Open Access (OA) are being met?
  2. Transparency of the process. ISO, caring for its broken reputation, will insist that the process was fine, yet to fails to provide any proof of it. As the BRM in Geneva taught everyone, it’s all just a back-door arrangement involving stuffed panels congregating behind closed doors to decide ‘on behalf’ of ‘the world’.

The ISO process was horrendous. Tim Bray, a world authority in the field of XML, called the process “brutal and corrupt”. It was so bad that it ended up going under a formal investigation by the European Commission.

These investigators must be so overwhelmed by evidence that they do not even know where to start and what to choose. And yet, despite all of this, Alex Brown, who essentially markets Microsoft OOXML (talk about conflict of an interests) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21], had decided to threaten me with vague allegation of lawsuits.

And (I did hint we might come down from being high-minded) talking of copyright violation I notice some of the dafter quarters of the web have published the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 (OOXML) text. Now, while not many people know for sure what ITTF do to a text when they prepare it for publication, one thing they do do for sure is to put a copyright statement on every page. So what we have witnessed is a brazen act of copyright violation. The boobies have even been so good as to boast about the bandwidth requirements their crimes have occasioned (no further questions, m’lud).

Even now, I can hear those Geneva lawyers licking their lips over this one … ”

Given how ugly the process has been thus far, it hardly surprises that it continues to be ugly. People who were appalled by the corruption have already spilled some beans before (against the ‘precious’ yet ridiculous rules).

Threats are cheap and we've witnessed them before, Alex. They make ISO look even worse.

Watch the photo here. It’s hilarious.

So let’s call it tit-for-tat, Alex. ;-)

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

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

22 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Gravatar

    Ignoring whether or not these specs. should be in the public domain (not the copyright phrase), I wouldn’t blow off his suggestion so readily.

    They can’t come after you for obvious reasons, but if I were Shane – with the DMCA as it is – I wouldn’t be parading this around.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Gravatar

    Taking it off the server is trivial, but that wouldn’t make the dirty secret (OOXML) disappear. It was never truly invisible and if ISO thinks that it can keep it ‘safe’ from spreading, it ought to learn a lesson or two from the MPAA/RIAA. You can’t battle the sharing — through conversation of the very least — of information. A lot of people already knew what was in OOXML. They cannot just ‘unknow’ it. See this good essay:

    http://slated.org/the_right_to_own_knowledge

  3. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Gravatar

    Look, I’m not arguing that the development of the spec. should be done in the open.

    I’m just saying that taking Brown’s comments as a threat is potentially missing an underlying good piece of advice. But, that’s up to you and Shane.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Gravatar

    For 6+ billion people to understand how Microsoft is scheming to lock their personal data (for profit) only makes sense, especially given the ways Microsoft corrupted their countries in the process.

    Think of it as a moral obligation, but shall ISO go litigious, I’ll remove these files immediately, no complains made. ISO would then come under fire from other people (that’s my prediction), it will get not even a penny, and the document will never stop circulating anyway (by E-mail, torrent, P2P, or CD-ROM).

    To think that I’m the first one to have gotten my hands on this is false. To publish something without a breach is not so rude, especially given the moral factors at play (hint).

    If Microsoft/ISO wants a scapegoat, let them make their critics’ day.

  5. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Gravatar

    Sure, but it’s not worth getting into a legal tussle about it. I’m sure Rob Weir or someone else with access to the docs would be in a better position to take that heat…

    … or even wikileaks, as you mentioned previously.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Gravatar

    Fine then. I’ll remove all the files.

  7. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Gravatar

    Look, if you’re going to begrudge it then put them back and deal with any (unlikely) legal flak.

    I’m just trying to suggest to you that there are easier ways of achieving the same thing.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Gravatar

    I don’t need legal mud on my tail. Anyway, we’ve moved on. Posted just minutes ago:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/10/07/brazil-hijacked-by-microsoft/

  9. twitter said,

    October 7, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    AlexH, you are here to threaten and entrap. Both you and Brown have Zero Credibility.

  10. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    @twitter: that’s a false assertion, unsupportable, and you know it.

    If you want to encourage Roy to break laws, go ahead and do it. In this case though, I suggest that there are bigger players like IBM who will be more willing to take that fall.

  11. Alex Brown said,

    October 7, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Gravatar

    @AlexH

    > bigger players like IBM who will be
    > more willing to take that fall

    I think the day you find a big software vendor playing fast and loose with IP rights will be the day hell freezes over! Rob Weir has had a copy of the 29500 text since March, but is waaaay too wise to broadcast it over the web!

    - Alex.

  12. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    @Alex: sure, but if they wanted to get their point across, they could. The ECMA standard has been out there for ages, so all they need to tell people is how it has changed post BRM. You can do that without copying bits verbatim.

    Though, I think at this point it’s a bit pointless since presumably they will be publishing it properly not too long from now. At least, hopefully….

  13. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 7, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Gravatar

    The material is public. The scandal needs to be more visible. Posting the material will help show either the rotten-to-the-core specification as it is, or how desperate MSFTers are to sneak this one in under the radar.

    Maybe it is time that MS is banned from EU procurement. That would be about the only remedy (aside from necklacing Gates and crew on pay per view) that could have any near-term impact:

    http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/06/19/231119/green-meps-say-microsoft-should-be-banned-from-eu-procurement.htm

  14. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 7, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Gravatar

    @AlexH: that’s some heavy FUD. What are you so eager to shelter MS for?

  15. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Gravatar

    @Needs: sorry? What is FUD?

    I haven’t said that it shouldn’t be out in the open…

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Gravatar

    …’Open’ standards that you have no access to. Now, that’s an oxymoron, don’t you think? Let people put their data in the ‘open’ cryptic format that will force them to buy the latest Microsoft Office. Over and over and over again. Well done, ISO, for sheltering business agenda of a monopolist.

  17. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: it’s not an ISO standard yet, so the question is moot. They didn’t openly publish the ODF changes either; we had to wait for 1.0 rev 2 from OASIS for that.

    And before you accuse me of your usual “similar evil” argument, re-read what I said until you understand it.

  18. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Gravatar

    And no, I don’t agree it should be closed, either.

    It’s just nothing new, this is how ISO operates.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey, check this one out. :-)

    http://www.noooxml.org/forum/t-95230/sc34-thanked-microsoft-korea-for-the-dinner

    “The company from Redmond is heavily investing in the ISO SC34 committee. Thanks to a brazilian blogger who manage to shed some light on what was going on in there, we hear now that Microsoft Korea was paying for dinner.”

  20. AlexH said,

    October 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: why stop at dinners?

    Some large proportion of ISO’s funding (1/3rd or 2/3rd, I can’t remember which) comes from corporate sponsors.

    They pay for a lot more than the dinners.

  21. pcole said,

    October 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Gravatar

    That seems to be the re-occurring problem; That corporations & monopolists monetarily remunerate organizations which are supposed to be beyond that (bribery, lobby-ism, etc.) and are to represent the consumer in being vendor agnostic.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 7, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft attacked ODF very viciously. Why is it suddenly paying people who work on ODF?

    [quote]
    If you watch the arrangements made at the XML 2007 conference, you’ll
    find that Microsoft hosts, pays for, covers, and sponsors all sorts of
    things (mind the “Hors d’oeuvres and drinks hosted by Microsoft”).
    [/quote]

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/12/06/moonlight-drinks-xml-2007/

    [quote]
    A reader has made us aware us a very curious mailing list thread.
    “Someone harshly criticized Microsoft security making some very good
    points,” he writes. “Suddenly a Microsoft rep materialized on the
    mailing list to refute them, offer to put on a security dog and pony
    show for the group and buy everyone lunch, and that’s where it ended!
    [/quote]

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/12/09/microsoft-buying-love/

    [quote]
    The Vole [Microsoft] supposedly invited The INQ over for tea because we
    are notorious “Microsoft doubters” – and we were accompanied by other
    supposed Vole doubters such as the folk from lifehacker and a very nice
    man from Slashdot, as well as some Microsoft MvPs.
    [/quote]

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=36312

    [quote]
    Microsoft flew me there from Florida at its expense, put me up in a nice
    hotel, provided decent food, and comped me and four other invitees to
    this “special conference” with presentations about the marvels of Vista
    and other recent or upcoming Microsoft products. They didn’t quite play
    the old Beatles song “Love Me Do” in the background, but it was the
    event’s unstated theme.
    [/quote]

    http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/12/12/085222

    [quote]
    Gilad Tiefenbrun, Director of Engineering of Linn Products in Scotland
    (known since the 1970s for their high-end audio equipment), showed their
    new Sneaky Music DS device for playing high quality music stored on a
    home LAN — with Open Source software components you can modify to your
    heart’s content.

    Microsoft picked up the tab for drinks and food
    [/quote]

    http://danbricklin.com/log/2008_03_06.htm#tt03linn

    Also relevant:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/03/11/microsoft-invades-foss/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/04/02/foss-grab-and-redefinition/

What Else is New


  1. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  2. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  3. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  4. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  5. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  6. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  7. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  8. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  9. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  10. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  11. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  12. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  13. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  14. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  15. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  16. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  17. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  18. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  20. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  21. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  22. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  23. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  24. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  25. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  26. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  27. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  28. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  29. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  30. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions


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