11.18.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Revisionism and Moles in Land of the Fee

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

20 dollar bill

Summary: Microsoft and its apologists rewrite the story of GPL violations; Microsoft is seen invading more competitors and panels, using money at times

AS we showed over the weekend, a Microsoft Vista 7 tool had broken the law as stated by the GPL [1, 2, 3, 4] and Bruce Perens made the argument that this can help Microsoft.

Now is the time for Microsoft to spin it all. “Revisionism revisionism revisionism revisionism,” as Steve Ballmer might put it. We see a lot of revisionism these days and Microsoft did the same thing when there were GPL violations in its loadable module for Linux [1, 2, 3].

Here is a Microsoft-sponsored news site getting close and personal with the developer who saw someone victimised and here come the usual apologists to Microsoft’s rescue.

First off, Microsoft deserves credit for doing the right thing in a timely way.

Credit for what exactly? For violating the law? To deserve credit, Microsoft ought to have obeyed the law in the first place, not after getting caught. Here is more apologism:

Redmond’s response to the problem “does indicate a growing maturity with respect to free and open source licenses,” said RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady.

Obeying the law after violating it is not “growing maturity”, but Microsoft is among RedMonk’s clients, so it is not exactly an unbiased source. Money matters, so the whole embarrassing situation becomes a PR thing.

“It is the same spin as when Hyper-V led Microsoft to a GPL violation.”Watch the coverage from IDG (which relies on Microsoft as a large source of revenue [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). Holy cow. Look how IDG spins Microsoft’s violation of the law. It is the same spin as when Hyper-V led Microsoft to a GPL violation. Microsoft tried to redo the story as “we’re kindly releasing GPL-licensed code”.

Matt Asay goes further and uses Microsoft’s violation of the law to actually daemonise those who watch and criticise Microsoft for attacking GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Wow, just wow! How does Microsoft do that? That’s PR genius (but then again, that’s the same guy who also invited Microsoft/ushered it into OSI).

Microsoft has just found another body that’s associated with “open” to throw money at, just like with Apache [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. It takes very shallow minds to actually buy this gesture.

Microsoft is joining at the promoter level, which is OFA’s highest membership level and gives Microsoft a seat on the OFA [OpenFabrics Alliance] board, full voting rights, membership in all working groups, and the opportunity to influence the long-term evolution of the most widely adopted middleware for high-performance computing, networking and storage.

This is not charity. This is Microsoft buying seats so that it can influence the OpenFabrics Alliance. It gives them some influence on the cheap.

To say more about influence, Google has foolishly hired Don Dodge. That is the same person who earlier this month promoted Microsoft's software patent deals regarding Linux. He is now added to Google, but there’s more:

Which sounds quite close to the truth. But we can’t help but wonder: Now that this Microsoft evangelist has suddenly disowned five years of Microsoft evangelism, shouldn’t we apply a certain, well, skepticism to anything he now says about Google?

So at Microsoft he was an “evangelist”, eh? In a way, that’s euphemism for AstroTurfers [1, 2, 3, 4], just like the undercover "evangelists" who were trolling Boycott Novell on Microsoft's payroll.

Whose “perception management” [1, 2] will Dodge do? Will he promote .NET and ActiveX in Google, for example? Our reader who links to this item writes: “This is the kind of person who tirelessly defended Microsoft’s technologies in the face of nasty inconveniences like facts.

“The closing line ought to be re-worded: “he will likely be a great asset to Microsoft in dealing with Google’s developer community.”

“I wonder what Matt Assay will have to say about it in his apologies for Microsoft?

“Google can’t employ Microsofters without them bringing the quality and mind set that Microsoft has been infamous for.”

Speaking of deception and spin, also from IDG we have this familiar troll and Microsoft shareholder Bill Snyder mocking Free software. It’s all about money to him.

I don’t write for free; my editors don’t edit for free. I know, I know – some of you are going to bring up open source.

He has used the same type of daemonisation repeatedly, so this is not the first time. He also uses Microsoft talking points like “no free lunch” and TechDirt shreds his arguments to pieces.

And, of course, that’s the problem with Snyder’s analysis. It doesn’t take into account the wider business model. The reason that Snyder’s article is available for free is because InfoWorld has decided that it has a better chance of monetizing that content by offering it for free and selling advertising. It’s other option would be to charge people directly to read Snyder’s economically confused analysis — but then no one might pay. So which makes more sense? According to Snyder, the latter.

[...]

Snyder figured out the wrong thing. Yes, getting paid is important, but the question is what you get paid for, and he’s asking people to charge for the parts of a business that make the most sense being free — and doesn’t explain why he gets to decide what should be free and what shouldn’t. The answer, really, is that none of us decides: basic economics tells us. If you have a competitive product with no marginal cost, it’s going to eventually get driven to free. Whether you like it or not. And then you shouldn’t whine about the evils of “free.” You should instead figure out ways to use that to your advantage.

There is nothing wrong with being gratis and libre. In fact, Google is now using both of these to market Android and Chrome OS. We need to work together with our neighbours on this planet, not against one another based on borders or commercial boundaries. The real troublesome borders are ones of control, power, and class. Those who use technology and intellectual monopolies to rule the majority would be weakened if this same majority shared knowledge and worked cohesively to produce powerful systems that put control in the hands of all users — those who do not merely rent or acquire permission to use one single corporation’s tool, whose structure is secret (and is illegal to probe thanks to self-guarding laws such as DMCA). Why aren’t proponens of proprietary software described as “zealots” or “dangerous”? It’s probably because they still control the press (and thus perception).

“There is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes or makes it the official duty of a president to have anything to do with criminal activities.”

Sam(uel) James Ervin, Jr.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  2. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  3. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  4. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  5. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  6. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  9. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  10. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  11. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  12. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  13. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  14. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  15. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  16. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  17. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  18. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  19. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  20. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  22. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  23. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  25. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  26. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  27. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  28. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  29. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  30. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active


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