01.06.10

Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Standard at 10:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Public documents and operations that Microsoft helped subvert are continuing to draw fire

SO MANY times we have already covered complaints about the EIF (version 2), which lobbyists of Microsoft helped change. See references in the links below.

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  9. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia

According to this new post from CMS Wire, the Open Source Software Thematic Group is another complainer we have not yet mentioned. We missed it. Here is the letter of complaint, which we append at the bottom. The post also says:

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure offers ten recommendations for improving the version 2 and preserving “a strong definition of ‘open standards and specifications’ in a way that patent cartels do not qualify for the gold standard.”

These ten recommendations are:

1. Align the EIF 2.0 with the new General Principles from the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) document, which calls for technological neutrality and adaptability, openness, reusability, privacy and personal protection of data and security.
2. Improve interoperability terminology to once again align with the ISA’s definition rather than the new watered down one.
3. Market Order and public constituency by creating better functioning markets with increased interoperability.
4. Deletion of Chapter 3 and its empty talk.
5. Administrative principles such as not tasking public administration with lobbying for political support of interoperability efforts.
6. Avoid capture and dilution of interest with weak phrases and definitions.
7. Adjust to public administrative needs.
8. Open standards, not open concepts, by reinstating the proper definition of open standards.
9. Open assessment and continuum to allow government bodies to assess where an offering falls on the “openness continuum”.
10. Problem-oriented approach by focusing on identifying and solving interoperability problems.

Other Organizations Speak Out

Other organizations have also expressed their strong concerns, such as the OW2 Consortium and the Open Source Software Thematic Group.

We previously wrote about what Microsoft had done to the NHS [1, 2, 3, 4], which is Britain’s national healthcare organisation. There is another scandal there and it relates to those who supplied software (iSoft is a Microsoft partner).

The Financial Services Authority has confirmed that it is starting criminal proceedings against four former directors of iSoft Group plc – the major provider of patient records software for the NHS’s National Programme for IT.

[...]

It said at that time that commercial director Steve Graham, and another employee, had been put on special leave following a company investigation into accounting irregularities in 2004 and 2005.

iSoft shares collapsed in the wake of that news and in September 2006 it emerged that the Department of Health had bailed out the struggling software firm with £82m of taxpayers’ cash.

Earlier today we wrote about a possible lawsuit against Microsoft in Italy. Clearly, justice has a way of catching up sooner or later.


Open Letter to the EC about Open Standards and Interoperability

From:   “Stefane Fermigier” <sf-AT-nuxeo.com>
To:   lwn-AT-lwn.net
Subject:   Open Letter to the EC about Open Standards and Interoperability
Date:   Mon, 23 Nov 2009 17:39:26 +0100
Message-ID:   <20091123163926.DDB8B5AAF6@gateway.nuxeo.com>
Archive-link:   Article, Thread
Hi,

our Open Source Software Thematic Group became deeply concerned two weeks ago
after we learned that the European Commission was preparing a new version
of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) with definitions of 
interoperability, open standards and maybe even open source completely 
void of any substance, allowing any proprietary software vendor to claim
being compatible with the new guidelines.

This concern was, to our knowledge, first publicised by Glyn Moody in his blog:

http://www.computerworlduk.com/toolbox/open-source/blogs/...

To react and try to protect the useful and actionable definitions contained
in EIF v1, we've just written an open letter to Commissioner Kallas and Mr 
Garcia Moran:

http://www.gt-logiciel-libre.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/...

Other useful references about this subject include:

- http://action.ffii.org/eif from our friends as FFII
- http://www.ow2.org/view/Events/OpenLetterIEF from our friends at OW2

Our original announcement (in french) is here:
http://www.gt-logiciel-libre.org/2009/11/lettre-ouverte-e...

Regards,

  S. Fermigier, Chairman
  System@tic Free / Open Source Software Thematic Group, aka GTLL
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