11.18.09

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/11/18/microsoft-is-buying-a-pass/

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 5/3/2021: Qubes OS 4.0.4 Release and Wine's Project Leader is Open to Wayland

    Links for the day



  2. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part II: Introduction

    Following Part I, published a few hours ago, let's examine what happened from a technical perspective and what can be done about it technically



  3. How To Deal With Your Raspberry Spy -- Part I: Acknowledgements

    March 2, 2021 blog post series from a guest author; for some background, see blog posts from Microsoft in the official blog of Raspberry Pi and our response to these



  4. German Decision on Unitary Patent/UPC Will Take Years (and It Doesn't Matter Because the Whole Thing is Dead Already)

    Kluwer Patent Blog's Dr. Bausch explains why the UPC is pretty much doomed, as it cannot be ratified any time soon and probably will never be ratified either (for a multitude of reasons, including Brexit)



  5. Techrights in Australia (IPFS and Gemini)

    Allies in Australia will help Techrights serve material from another server; we're still bettering ourselves for an era of oppressive World Wide Web



  6. Professional Troll Matthew Garrett Spreads Libel, Defamation and Slander About the Free Software Community to Entertain Microsoft and Friends

    After months of parking in our IRC channels to provoke and troll people (and try to collect 'dirt' from responses) the professional troll Matthew Garrett has been for many years shows his true colours again



  7. Links 5/3/2021: Linux 5.12-rc2 Imminent, Linux Lite 5.4 RC1 in Review

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 04, 2021



  9. Links 4/3/2021: LibreOffice 7.1.1, Cockpit 239, Many Stable Kernel Releases

    Links for the day



  10. Links 4/3/2021: Pardus 19.5 is Out and Free Software Foundation Gets Consulting Grant

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 03, 2021



  12. The Free Software Foundation Should Re-add Richard Stallman to the Board

    Dr. Richard Stallman is missed by many who perceive him to have been wrongly treated; putting Stallman back in the Board (at the very least) would help the image of the Free Software Foundation more than the newly-announced work with Community Consulting Teams of Boston



  13. Free Software Calling

    Fewer people are willing to "put up with the shit" given by so-called 'Big Tech', seeing that it's mostly about social control rather than enablement or emancipation



  14. Meme: EPO Management Totally Gets 'Tehc'

    The bestest patent office in the whole wide world is besting the “hey hi” (AI) cutting edge; don't worry about exam and certification integrity



  15. The EPO's Software Blunders Are Inevitable Outcome of Technically Clueless Management Which Grants Illegal Patents on Software

    The "clusterfuck" which the EPO has become is negatively affecting not only EPO staff but also stakeholders, who sink into depression and sometimes anger, even fury, at great expense to their health; this is how institutions die (for a quick but short money grab, a culmination of corruption which piggybacks half a century of goodwill gestures)



  16. Links 3/3/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 Beta, GNU Denemo 2.5, and NomadBSD 1.4

    Links for the day



  17. What Free Software Organisations Can Learn From Australia's Rape Crisis

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  18. Microsoft Weaponises (and Further Spreads) Racism to Distract From Its Own Incompetence (and 'Five Eyes' Collusion for Back Door Access)

    Racist Microsoft is at it again; we're meant to think that China is evil for doing exactly what the United States has been doing but more importantly we're told not to blame Microsoft for shoddy code and back doors (classic blame-shifting tactics and overt distortion of facts, as we saw in the wake of SolarWinds backdoors)



  19. GNU/Linux News Sites Need to Promote Software Freedom, Not Binary and Proprietary Blobs Merely Compiled for GNU/Linux

    There has been lots of proprietary fluff in GNU/Linux 'news' sites so far this week; it merits an explanation or clarification, e.g. why we should generally reject proprietary stuff and instead promote Free/libre alternatives



  20. Links 3/3/2021: OpenSSH 8.5 and Absolute64 20210302 Released

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 02, 2021



  22. Links 3/3/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 154, Red Hat Satellite 6.8.4, Kiwi TCMS 10.0

    Links for the day



  23. Links 2/3/2021: KDE Plasma 5.21.2, Qt 6.1 Beta, Refund of Pre-installed Windows

    Links for the day



  24. 'GatoKeeper'/IP Kat (AstraZeneca) Still Suppressing and Censoring the Public Views or Internal EPO Talks About EPO Corruption

    The suppression of comments critical of the EPO‘s administration (especially corruption scandals surrounding António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli) is a real problem; those ought not be a taboo subject in comments (where bloggers used to speak about those issues openly and regularly)



  25. Pocock on Removing Cognitive Bias Around Consent

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, March 01, 2021



  27. Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

    Links for the day



  28. ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

    The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)



  29. Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

    Links for the day



  30. Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

    We've warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn't just EPO President right now but he's also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff


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