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10.09.09

European Commission Still Protects Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The European Commission insists on not talking about or revealing the influence of Microsoft’s panel provocateurs

EARLIER TODAY and also yesterday we wrote about Free software discrimination at the European Commission (whether this was voluntary or not is a separate issue). The Commission’s defence of Free software foes is rather stunning and we wrote about this in:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”
  10. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?

Here is the latest response that I received an hour ago. It helps not at all.

Dear Mr. Schestowitz,

In the course of 2007 and 2008 a number of organisations made proposals to Commissioner Reding on the formulation of a strategy for software producers in Europe. In 2009 an attempt was made to synthesise the suggestions and build a single report.

To achieve this, the European Commission invited a broad spectrum of experts mostly from the software industry and the FLOSS community to participate in a number of working groups each treating a subject identified as being important for the European Software Industry. The result of the working groups are documented in a report from each of the working groups. These reports can also be found here http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/ssai/europeansoftwarestrategy-documents_en.html#contributions. The content of the reports are agreed among the participants including the participants from the Floss community, unless stated otherwise.

Please note that these documents in no way form a software strategy nor a position of the European Commission. The process so far has simply sought to identify subjects which could form elements of a strategy and to discover which of them raised issues among participants with divergent interests. There is, as yet, no strategy. If one is eventually formulated it will be the subject of broad consultation as usual.

Please note that the working group reports are documents created and edited by the participants and not by the European Commission. The European Commission holds only the final versions agreed by the participants and these have already been sent to you.

Previous draft versions and the individual contributions may be in the possession of the participants. We are aware of the document which has been published on the Internet (http://wikileaks.org/wiki/European_Commission_OSS_Strategy_Draft%2C_Mar_2009), but we cannot comment on the document or its authenticity. As regards your interest in SAP’s position, SAP has contributed with the following document http://www.europeansoftware.org/documents/SAP_WP_FutureInternet.pdf and has asked to have a number of notes to be included in the reports to clarify their position; these are all clearly marked in the reports already sent to you.

The reports will be used as input, together with many other inputs (see http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/ssai/europeansoftwarestrategy_en.html), to investigate if any initiatives are needed from the European Commission to strengthen the European Software Industry.

The process has been as transparent as possible and the European Commission is also fully aware of the interests represented by the participants. The synthesis report is published, the working group reports contributing to it are published and the original contributions from interested parties are published. All the parties contributing to reports are listed on the reports.

Please note that comments on the reports can be given using the following form http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/ssai/europeansoftwarestrategy-documents_en.html#feedback and that any contribution describing how the software production in Europe can be strengthened is very welcome.

Yours sincerely,

[Anonymised - European Commission]

Lacking context, the above may mean too little. They are completely ignoring the concern expressed about lobbyists writing this report and also refusing — as they have done for almost half a year — to reveal the contributions of each participant, including Microsoft lobbyists who distorted a panel about Free/Open Source software.

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