A few days ago we showed why (and how) Microsoft relies on illegal tenders. BECTA seems to be a good example of secret arrangements where the taxpayer — the one picking up the tab — is not allowed to know how much got paid and what for [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. All the taxpayer knows is that a lot of money got passed to a multiple-times convicted monopolist that resides abroad and obtains controls over (a lock-in on) the public and private sectors.
The problem is actually broader than this:
Open standards: the European Council refused to supply the contracts concluded with Microsoft
Marco Cappato MEP asked the Council to provide him the contract concluded by the Council and Microsoft, and the Study on the Open Source realized by the interinstitutional committee on informatics in 2005. The Council refused to supply these documents. As the Council quoted these documents in an answer given to Cappato’s written question on the adoption of open source facilities as support to the institution’s work, Cappato claimed for these records.
Got that? “Protection of Microsoft’s commercial interests … prevails on the divulgation for the public interest.” Microsoft’s profits are more important to the European Council than the public interest of 300 million EU citizens….
“DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”