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

03.02.09

Bill Gates’ Dad and His Connections with the BSA (Plus Examples from the News)

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Europe, Fraud, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates senior
The lesser known part
of Microsoft (photo from Wikipedia)

Summary: Another example where Gates senior may be clearing legal obstacles for Microsoft and creating some obstacles for Free software

ON SEVERAL occasions in the past month we have given examples where Bill Gates’ dad removed legal hurdles for his son [1, 2, 3]. Since the early days of Microsoft, this man has been greasing up politicians behind the scenes and also interacting with people like his now-notorious employee, Jack Abramoff (serving time in jail). Gates senior apparently used him to get cheaper labour for his son.

Having just glanced over at Linux Journal, we found this old article which sheds light on the BSA and its connections to the Gates family. The BSA is responsible and known not only for its direct services to Microsoft but also for its fight against Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], particularly at the political and legal arenas.

Business Software Alliance

Better known as the BSA, this firm is the most formidable opponent of open-source software of which I know. BSA employs many former members of Preston, Gates & Ellis (PG&E), a practice specializing in intellectual property law. Many registered lobbyists in Washington DC work for PG&E and represent Microsoft and the BSA.

In reviewing registered lobbyists in Washington DC, we found employees of PG&E and BSA practicing in the area. They refer to themselves as the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal on-line world. BSA also claims to be the voice of the world’s commercial software industry before governments and the global market. The BSA employs highly dedicated and capable people. They believe in their cause and have a track record for getting the job done. Consider BSA to be of the highest professional caliber and experts in copyright law.

Initiative for Software Choice & CompTIA

In August 2002, Microsoft became a member of the Initiative for Software Choice. The ISC has close associations with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) based in Washington DC. The ISC supports four principles: software should be procured on its merits, the promotion of government funded research, the promotion of interoperability through platform-neutral standards and the maintenance of strong intellectual property protections.

In August 2002, the organization reported it opposed legislation in four countries—Israel, Portugal, Colombia and the Ukraine—that require the use of open-source software in state institutions. I guess they read that Texas was once a country and decided to show up at the hearing.

We are still seeing the BSA nipping at the heels of Free software in European venues. The BSA is lobbying for software patents in Europe and it goes far beyond that. It’s a lobbying gun for non-Free software.

A reader suggested that we revisit software licensing now this this article appears about enforcement which sometimes takes people to jail. Other than hunting people down, the BSA is also responsible for propaganda whose purpose is promote the agenda of companies like Microsoft. We’ll come to this in a moment. Before we do, since CompTIA gets mentioned in the above article as well, here is a timely mention of CompTIA intercepting yet another open source report in Europe a few years back. The pressure came from Microsoft.

Microsoft leaned on EC to spike open source report

The European Commission has resisted efforts by Microsoft to make it abandon its report into open source software, it was revealed this week. But the EC was swayed into allowing a 10-day period for feedback before completing the report.

Harnessing the opportunity to provide feedback, Microsoft produced 25 pages of arguments as to why the report – which quantified the benefits of open source to European organisations – should be shelved. The software giant also commissioned a respected university academic to back its case and enlisted the help of a trade association, CompTIA.

This is highly relevant to us because it’s happening again at this very moment, so we can do something about it.

Going back to the news, here is the BSA doing some more “piracy” propaganda [1, 2, 3] in Asia:

Still, as more Asians have purchased PCs, the size of the software industry’s losses to counterfeiting has soared. In 2003, according to the BSA, piracy cost software vendors $7.6 billion in lost sales. By 2007 that number had leaped to $14 billion. In India, the losses grew from just $367 million in 2003 to $2 billion in 2007. In China, they jumped from $3.8 billion to $6.7 billion. With the huge populations of China and India, “even if the piracy rates drop, the losses from piracy grow,” says Hardee.

This is PR stunt because Microsoft's actions in Asia speak volumes. There happens to be another piece of shameless deception right now, with Microsoft claiming credit for something called the “Elevate America initiative” — essentially using a global crisis to make even more money and to spread Microsoft’s software and lock-in. Likewise, the Gates family is using deadly disease to make profit.

Finally, according to some widely-circulated reports, Microsoft was “giving” in 2008, but the figures mix together donations of money and software.

In 2007, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) donated $432 million in cash and software.

How much of it was software, which does more harm than good and also increases Microsoft’s revenue in the long term? We explained this point in greater depth back in January.

In education, Microsoft is known to be sabotaging migrations to Free software not only by dumping but also by bragging about the imaginary value of software that was not needed in the first place. Catalonia is the most recent example among many more that exist and which we may have covered. Microsoft is doing unethical and potentially illegal things and dares also to claim generosity for it (dumping of software cast as “donations” of software). It’s all PR. For those who are not familiar with how it works, the following is required reading:

There is more to gratis software than initially meets the eye.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

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

4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 2, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Gravatar

    Interesting. It looks like Bill’s dad retired at the same time Bill entered politics: 1998. 1998-1999 was a real watershed point, with a precipitous downturn as technology was pushed to become politics.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 2, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Gravatar

    “Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).”

    What does the acronym IASA expand to?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 2, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Gravatar

    I think it’s this one.

  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 2, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: thanks.

    The main pages seem fairly innocuous. It’s the deeper links that show it’s nearly 100% msft partners and resellers.

What Else is New


  1. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  2. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  5. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  6. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  7. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  8. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  9. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  11. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  12. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  13. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  14. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  15. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  16. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  17. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  18. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  19. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  20. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  21. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  22. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  24. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  26. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  27. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  28. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  29. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  30. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)


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