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

04.18.09

Possible Microsoft Influence in FOSS Press, ISO, India, Portugal, and South Africa

Posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 4:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money house
Trust thy institute

Summary: A batch of stories that deserve greater attention

THIS IS A SET of new observations about Microsoft’s affairs in international establishments and governments.

Beware the Black Ducks

It is worrying to find that a purely proprietary software company created by a (former) Microsoft employee is becoming some sort of a self-appointed speaker for FOSS. A few days ago we found Black Duck Software cited in some major publications where its take on open source is embraced without question, despite the company’s sheer hypocrisy (it doesn’t even do open source) and occasional FUD, which is exactly how it makes business for itself. It’s the classic business model to offer medicine which combats perceived risk and newly-created problems.

ISO

The OOXML fiasco is far from over and there is a new scandal brewing. To summarise:

ISO SC34, now heavily controlled by Microsoft people who go to ISO meeting happening all over the planet, has published a report of defects of the pseudo ISO standard ISO29500. They do not provide a definition of what is an “existing document”.

That’s what happens when ISO gets controlled by Microsoft (at least the relevant parts of it).

India

In previous writings about the Bharatiya Janata Party (in India) [1, 2] we placed insufficient emphasis on this party’s level of posturing (potential stunt). We first witnessed it a few days ago and we have readers provide us with more evidence that includes:

The BJP’s awkward embrace of Free Software

[...]

The IT manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party has created ripples among software circles with its support for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and its opposition to “digital standards.” While the Kerala government has a policy that makes the use of FOSS in government and education mandatory, Tamil Nadu has implemented it in a few departments. Left parties have for long backed the Free Software movement politically. It is surprising that the BJP, with its strong pro-corporate and pro-patent leanings, should back this cause.

[...]

Consider this. As late as January 2009, the BJP government in Gujarat, led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, inked a deal with the global proprietary software giant Microsoft that includes a Microsoft-developed IT curriculum for high school students, teacher training, certification programmes, and offers free Microsoft software development tools to universities.

This seems like a very easy target for Indian EDGI [1, 2].

Portugal

We’ve just learned that the exclusive benefits to Microsoft are inquired by MPs at the Portuguese Parliament, despite existing complaints about Microsoft corruption in the country. Microsoft also mocks GNU/Linux and publicly frowns upon Free software advocates over there.

South Africa

Speaking of government affairs with Microsoft, Tectonic reports that one of Microsoft’s nightmares in South African has just departed.

SA government loses key OSS advocate

[...]

Besides being the chairperson of the government’s open source workgroup Raffee was also a prime advocate of open source software and standards in government circles as well as more widely in South Africa and the world. Over the past two years he and his department played a key role in the opposition to the OOXML standards process at the International Standards Organisation, hosted the second OpenDocument Format workshop in South Africa and led the battle for South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission to open up its website to all South African citizens.

[...]

The South African government is still home to many staunch open source advocates but losing Raffee will undoubtedly leave a noticeable hole in its ranks.

We already know what Microsoft did in South Africa [1, 2, 3], which it treated in its fashionable cult-like approach. It even insulted South African people and did everything within its power to derail ODF and GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3] in this strong, stubborn nation which understands the detrimental impact of colonialism.

Knowing what Microsoft did in India and in Massachusetts, namely the overthrow of opposition [1, 2, 3], we decided to check why the man above left the government and asked the author about it. Publicly he replied: “I don’t think he was pushed. But never say never.” Who will replace the guy? That may be the key question.

“No other large companies as far as I know use their employees as attack dogs to silen[ce] dissent. It’s time for Microsoft to stop this nonsense.”

The Prickly Prince From Microsoft Strikes Again

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

A Single Comment

  1. Peter Vescuso said,

    April 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Gravatar

    We at Black Duck view ourselves as open source evangelists, not creators of FUD. Our recent posts on the value of open source and its potential for helping development organizations is intended to highlight its value and increase adoption. Spreading FUD would hurt open source and would hurt our business. We believe open source and commercial businesses are not mutually exclusive. And we’re not creating risk – it’s out there. We provide a platform that allows commercial development organizations to embrace and use open source at scale, realize the benefits and manage the associated risks and challenges. It’s a fact that there is risk in re-using open source code in a commercial product if attention isn’t paid to licensing and complying with the associated obligations.

    Black Duck has made a significant investment to create our KnowledgeBase, a comprehensive database (DB) of OSS, which our customers use to search for open source code that meets their development requirements. Without the ability to find and evaluate OSS that meets their needs, manage and control it, commercial entities wouldn’t be able to embrace open source the way they are. It is this DB of information that we draw upon to provide estimates of OSS, which we do as a way to promote the adoption and widespread use of open source. Plus we contribute the code form the KnowledgeBase to a free code search website we make available to the community (more on that below).

    Black Duck uses open source and contributes to a number of open source projects (e.g., Pentaho, OpenOffice, serverjs, piston). In addition we maintain a free code search website called http://www.koders.com for the OSS community. It has 2 billion lines of source code and is used heavily, daily by thousands in the OSS community. In the last year we’ve increased the searchable code base 2.5 X to almost 2 billion lines of code by leveraging information from our KnowledgeBase.

    Last, the fact that someone (founder or an employee of a company) has worked at Microsoft doesn’t disqualify them as a positive contributor to the OSS community, nor should it immediately cast doubt on their motives. Imagine how many former Microsoft employees actively participate in and contribute to the open source community today.

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  2. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  3. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  4. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  5. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  6. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  8. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  9. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  10. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  11. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  12. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  14. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  15. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  16. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  17. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  18. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  19. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  20. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  21. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  22. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  23. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  24. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  25. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  26. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  27. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  28. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/1/2017: Dell’s Latest XPS 13, GPD Pocket With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Update on Patent Trolls and Their Enablers: IAM, Fortress, Inventergy, Nokia, MOSAID/Conversant, Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures, Faraday Future, A*STAR, GPNE, AlphaCap Ventures, and TC Heartland

    A potpourri of reports about some of the world’s worst patent trolls and their highly damaging enablers/facilitators, including Microsoft which claims that it “loves Linux” whilst attacking it with patents by proxy


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