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. Microsoft Continues to Use Software Patents to Extort/Blackmail Even More Companies That Use Linux, Forcing/Coercing Them Into Preinstalling Microsoft

    Acer is the latest large OEM to have become a victim of Microsoft's witch-hunt against Android/Linux preloaders, whom Microsoft is coercing into becoming Microsoft's carriers (or face litigation over software patents, with high legal fees if not injunctions or high damages upon secret settlements)



  2. EPO Brain Drain (Even Directors Fed Up With Team Battistelli) and Rumours About Battistelli Becoming President of the UPC

    Words heard through the grapevine of the European Patent Office (EPO), where staff is overwhelmingly against the managers and some people, including high-profile staff, add to the exodus



  3. More Than 20 Years in the Line: European Patent Office and Claims of European Convention on Human Rights Infringement Against Applicants/Stakeholders

    Gross incompetence and potentially an infringement of the European Convention on Human Rights at the European Patent Office (EPO), this time impacting an applicant (one of many in a similar position)



  4. UPC Nepotism, Political Abuses, and UPC Involvement From the Legal Firm That EPO Hired to Bully Techrights

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC), a rigged system that is being rammed down Europe's throat by the EPO, its big clients (even foreign), and their patent lawyers laid bear for people to see



  5. Member of European Parliament Brings Up “Ongoing Violations of the Fundamental and Employment Rights of the Staff of EPO”

    Question to the European Commission from Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes, as published in the site of the European Parliament



  6. La Oficina Europea de Patentes Pretende que No Pasa Nada y Prepara una Feria de Vanidad

    La estrategia de relaciones públicas de la OEP cuya destructiva estrategia de patentes continua sin disminución (por ahora), se engancha en Colombia y se esfuerza en manufacturar el mito donde el público, examinadores de patentes, y aplicantes de patentes todos estan muy felices con la OEP.



  7. La ‘Internacional’ Commisión de Comercio Impone/Reenfuerza Patentes de Software para Establecer Otro Embargo

    La Comisión Internacional (sic) de Comercio se esta entrometiendo en competición de nuevo permitiendo a un gigante de los Estados Unidos Ciso en este caso, a potencialmente bloquear rivales (no importaciones del extranjero) usando patentes de software.



  8. Links 9/2/2016: Linux in Robotics, Hyperledger Project

    Links for the day



  9. Besieged Benoît Battistelli Mimics 'Damage Control' Tactics of FIFA or Blatter as More Judges Start Getting Involved in EPO Scandals

    Rumours and a new rant from Battistelli reinforce suspicions that actions are being organised behind the scenes, possibly as part of an upcoming, high-level campaign to unseat/dethrone Battistelli, who has become a reputational disaster to the European Patent Office (EPO), much like Sepp Blatter at FIFA



  10. Several Political Parties Directly Challenge the European Patent Office for Ignoring the Law, Not Obeying Court Orders

    Politicians make it crystal clear that the EPO, despite its unique status, cannot just raise its nose at the rulings of courts of law, definitely not in Dutch territory where the EPO operates



  11. Even the Legal Community is Upset at Benoît Battistelli for the Damage He Did to the EPO

    A recent article from lawyers' media (in German) speaks of the great damage (or mess) left by its current president, who has become somewhat of a laughing stock and growingly synonymous with farcical trials even in the circles of stakeholders, not just his own staff



  12. EPO Union (SUEPO) Getting Busted: “More and More People are Joining the Union, but Fewer and Fewer People Dare to Take on Leading Positions There.”

    The union-busting actions taken by EPO management in collaboration with Control Risks (for weak accusations against staff representatives) and FTI Consulting (for 'damage control') as described in a recent article, in the words of SUEPO lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld



  13. Microsoft's Copyrights- and Patents-Based Attacks on GNU/Linux Carry on

    The SCO case is still going on and Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with GoPro over its FOSS-based software, relating to “certain file storage and other system technologies”



  14. The EPO's Benoît Battistelli is the Dictator Who Can No Longer Dictate Like He Used to

    The European Patent Office's mechanism of oversight is starting to work just a little because, based on a new report from Juve, Battistelli is now reluctant to make proposals that would prove unpopular among delegates



  15. La Más Detallada Explicación (hasta ahora) de ¿Qué esta mal con la OEP?

    La insistencia de la OEP que permanece arriba de la ley no sólo est bajo fuego en los medios pero también esta siendo desafiada basado en personas familiares con la aplicabilidad de la ley a organizaciones internacionales.



  16. Links 8/2/2016: Vista 10 Nags Help GNU/Linux, Nautilus Updated

    Links for the day



  17. The European Patent Office “is Acting as Though the Law Does Not Apply to It.”

    An article from Nieuwsuur which provides the words of Liesbeth Zegveld (for SUEPO) and Guillaume Minnoye (for the European Patent Office), reaffirming the EPO's bizarre notion that it is above the law, even in the face of human rights violations and a court ruling against the EPO



  18. Microsoft-Connected FRAND Lobbying (Software Patents Against Free/Open Source Software) in Brussels

    Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft



  19. Latest Propaganda From the EPO's Management an Effort to Make the EPO the Tool of Megacorporations

    A quick roundup of some of the latest spin and paid-for (bought) coverage that helps introduce a distorted patent system whose beneficiaries are not European (or even people)



  20. 'Aversion to Change' Propaganda From the EPO Echoes or Parrots Lenin and Stalin

    The out-of-control EPO management is trying to fool the media by blaming staff representatives for getting fired, simply because they stood up to a highly abusive and megalomaniacal dictator



  21. The Gates Foundation Subjected to Criticism, But Over a Decade Too Late

    Reckoning and accepting the fact that even some in the media now openly speak about Bill Gates' corrupting influence in everything, including politics



  22. Links 8/2/2016: Zenwalk 8.0 Beta 2, Q4OS 1.4.7

    Links for the day



  23. SIPO (China's Patent Office) Taken Over by Patent Maximalists

    A look at China's race to the bottom (decline in quality) when it comes to patents, assuming quite wrongly that quantity is more important than quality and severe penalties for perceived infringement will spur innovation



  24. The Alice Case Continues to Smash Software Patents (This Time OpenTV's); Will the EPO Ever Pay Attention?

    The potency or the grip of software patents in the United States is quickly eroding, but the EPO continues to act as though software patents are legitimate



  25. EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli's Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

    With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?



  26. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patent trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  27. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  28. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  29. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  30. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President


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