Summary: Spin, deception, lobbying and the likes of them as demonstrated by new examples from Microsoft
AT THE beginning of 2008 we wrote about Microsoft's taxoperability proposition. Ballmer and Smith made it abundantly clear that they shall use elite-serving front groups like WIPO to protect their monopoly against the biggest competitor, Free software. While Mr. Ramji is still producing “fluff pieces” for Microsoft (that’s his job [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12], even after departure) in order to give the impression that Microsoft is not fighting Free software when in fact it does, even in the courtroom, business goes on as usual. As Glyn Moody explicitly warned in 2007, Microsoft was bound to exploit this dishonest duality to pretend that its interests are the same as those of Free software and therefore its suggestions on the matter should be accepted. It also happens in ODF at the moment. They try to control both sides of the debate, so in a future post we will explain and show how this devious strategy works in practice.
“They try to control both sides of the debate…”One reader of ours has written about Microsoft’s attempt to fool the EU-based regulators into thinking that applying software patents to Free software in Europe would be reasonable. We wrote about this last week [1, 2, 3, 4] and now that the European Commission invites feedback, another reader of ours is working on a document as long as several dozens of pages — a document which will be submitted to the Commission as a recommendation. We may put it in the Wiki for regulars to help edit and improve.
All the above is not particularly new or exciting, but there are exceptions. Perhaps the most fascinating bit of news is this report from The Register. It shows rather nicely Microsoft’s influence in (or intersection with) the United States government. It not only relates to Microsoft’s role in promoting terms like “intellectual property” and support of bodies that are protectionist (for elite/national interests). It also relates to Microsoft’s influence at the DHS [1, 2, 3, 4]. If time permits, we will expand on it later. █