EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.20.10

Microsoft and Its Front Group, Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), Organise Software Patents Lobby Events in Europe

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT Microsoft

Summary: The Microsoft PR effort to marginalise or illegalise Free software overseas carries on quietly (using proxies, as usual)

A

FEW days ago we wrote about Microsoft people engaging with and entering "Open Source", possibly in order to change its agenda (although it could innocently be just a side effect). This is known as entryism and if there is no shielding against it, then the outcome can be fatal. One has to be careful of the sort of 'monopoly' on Free/open source licence statistics from a Microsoft-sourced company called Black Duck for instance. (Dis)Information is power and this power tends to be misused when put in the wrong hands. Deception and advertising is how those entities make a living. Likewise, to let former Microsoft employees decide whose voice counts in “Open Source” is rather risky. Last year we showed that Microsoft lobbyists (notably Zuck from Association for Competitive Technology) managed to infiltrate an “Open Source” panel where they subverted collective opinion to affect policies. We took it up to the European Commission and 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”

The Web site called European Voice is currently promoting Microsoft’s lobbying event for software patents in Europe. At first we suspected that this Web site was something like OpenMainframe.org (Microsoft attack site against GNU/Linux), but upon closer inspection of previous articles we found just a mix of views, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Nevertheless, why would such a site promote Microsoft’s agenda? It’s a Windows site and strangely enough, it is registered by The Economist:


Registrars.Registrant:                                          
 The Economist Newspaper Limited                                
 25 St James's Street                                           
 London,  SW1A 1HG                                              
 GB                                                             

 Domain name: EUROPEANVOICE.COM


 Administrative Contact:
    Manager, Domain  economistdomains@comlaude.com
    25 St James's Street                          
    London,  SW1A 1HG                             
    GB                                            
    +44.2078360070    Fax: +44.8700118187         

 Technical Contact:
    Administrator, DNS  dnsadmin@economist.com
    26 Red Lion Square                        
    London,  WC1R 4HQ                         
    GB                                        
    +44.2078360070    Fax: +44.8700118187     



 Registration Service Provider:
    Nom IQ Ltd (trading as Com Laude), admin@comlaude.com
    44-20-78360070                                       
    Address for Legal Service: Nom IQ Ltd (trading as Com Laude), 116 Long
    Acre, London, WC2E 9SU.  Com Laude is responsible for the registration,
    maintenance and management of this domain name.                        


 Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
 Record last updated on 12-Jan-2010.
 Record expires on 21-Jul-2012.     
 Record created on 21-Jul-1999.     

 Registrar Domain Name Help Center:

http://tucowsdomains.com/help/

 Domain servers in listed order:
    NSGBR.COMLAUDE.CO.UK
    NSUSA.COMLAUDE.NET
    NSSUI.COMLAUDE.CH


 Domain status: clientTransferProhibited
                clientUpdateProhibited

The event it is organising is supported by ACT (the Microsoft front group). The president of the FFII, Benjamin Henrion, publicly warns that “ACT continues to push for software patents in Europe, Innovation Summit at the end of the month in Brussels.” ACT is clearly a front for Microsoft and rather than deny this with counter arguments, Zuck and his colleagues repeatedly defame my character in their Web site. This attitude is telling and it is also used by Microsoft technical evangelists (sometimes a euphemism for AstroTurfers on the payroll). Defamation is what one gets for exposing Microsoft’s nature and modus operandi. Groklaw received similar treatment from SCO.

“ACT continues to push for software patents in Europe…”
      –Benjamin Henrion, FFII
Not only ACT supports this event though. Microsoft’s “eskills” project is there too. Here is some background (more in another page with proof that it’s a Microsoft project in this document/leaflet [PDF]), which ties the project to “Jan Muehlfeit, chairman of Microsoft Europe and co-chair of the European”. We wrote about him in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] because of his lobbying in Europe. He is allegedly a former communist [1, 2], but that’s not the key point.

It is abundantly clear that Microsoft is actively working towards the goal of legalising software patents in Europe so that it can pursue Free software exclusion (taxing it or making it illegal).

The president of the FFII points to this new post and argues that “Neelie Kroes pushing for software patents in standards, Digital Commissioner Kroes proposes new EU policy of open standards” (she was lobbied by Microsoft).

From the introduction:

AN IMPORTANT POLICY PAPER, A Digital Agenda for Europe –
A policy for smart growth and innovation in a digital society, HAS BEEN LEAKED OF WHICH AN EXCERPT IS BELOW. DIGITAL AGENDA COMMISSIONER KROES HAS PROPOSED A SERIOUS MOVE OF THE EU TOWARD OPEN STANDARDS AND INTEROPERABILITY. THESE PROPOSALS ARE ALREADY BEING ATTACKED BY HER COLLEAGUES IN THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION WHO REPRESENT ENTERPRISE, COMMERCE AND INTERNAL MARKET. NEVERTHELESS, THESE PROPOSALS DESERVE CONSUMER AND CITIZEN SUPPORT.

Neelie Kroes has been making many mistakes regarding software patents as of late [1, 2]. We also learn that “DG Enterprise is pro software patents, and hostile to real open standards. They defend patent holders such as Philips and BSA.” In the following new post we are reminded that in the UK at least, software patents are already forcing their way into the system.

In simplified terms the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) on the other hand follows law and practice in the UK instead where a patent for software can be granted only where the software has a technical effect.

In summary, Microsoft has not given up on changing EU laws to discriminate against Free software. This is a major issue that a lot of GNU/Linux-oriented Web sites continue to ignore. Sometimes, those who point this out are accused of sensationalism or FUD; such accusations are only proof of gullibility and they are counter productive.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway”, —Marshall Phelps, IAM: Microsoft to have 50,000 patents within two years, Phelps reveals

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

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

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #Microsoft and Its Front Group #ACT Organise Software Patents Lobby Events in #Europe http://ur1.ca/qpjf

What Else is New


  1. EPO Management Looks for New and 'Innovative' Ways to Exploit Scientists and Distract From EPO Corruption

    EPO management is desperate for puff pieces, having just produced some greenwashing nonsense (about a dozen press items about this non-event) and now a bunch of self-promotional videos



  2. Before the New York Times Did a Number on Donald Trump It Changed Bill Gates' Tune

    When you speak strictly through a spokesperson it often means you're lying and/or hiding something; the Gates enigma remains unsolved more than a year later



  3. Links 28/9/2020: Linux 5.9 RC7, Review of Linuxfx 10.6, OpenSSH 8.4

    Links for the day



  4. Speaking Through Spokespeople is a Sign of Weakness, Such as Non-Denying and False Denials (or: Bill Gates Never Denied His Connections to MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein)

    Big liars lie shamelessly; the biggest liars lie through proxies and today we examine the evasive tactics of Bill Gates and his associates (who were closely connected to Jeffrey Epstein but refuse to even talk about that, except indirectly)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 27, 2020



  6. Accounting for Debconf 19 Travel... in 2020

    A deeper look or analysis of Debian expenditures, which grew more than twicefold for travel last year



  7. Don't Let Microsoft Make 'Open Source' Synonymous With Proprietary Monopoly GitHub

    Now that the OSI works for Microsoft instead of Open Source (no, GitHub isn’t Open Source; it’s inherently against Open Source) we need to understand the modus operandi and learn from old mistakes



  8. Links 27/9/2020: Puppy Linux 9.5, Nitrux 1.3.3

    Links for the day



  9. Public Relations and Tolerance Stunts Are Very, Very Cheap

    It's 2020 and people are asked to focus on superficial aspects of corporations rather than anything of substance (like the effects on society at large, notably exploitation and long-term harm)



  10. Open to Everything

    It always starts with good intentions...



  11. The OSI's President Apparently Does Not Know That His Own Employer (Salesforce) Works for ICE

    The hypocrisy (or double standard) of the OSI’s President is astounding; taking salaries paid in part by ICE budget (Salesforce works for ICE and similarly evil agencies) while protesting in a proprietary software platform of Microsoft (GitHub) about ICE (all this whilst actively participating in it regardless)



  12. [Meme] Communist Tactics

    To Microsoft, Linux is communism until Microsoft controls it (and then runs over it to crush it, the typical modus operandi)



  13. OSI President: Most or Half of the OSI's Money (Even Individual Donors' Money) Goes to a Microsoft-Led Initiative

    The OSI has turned from advocate of "Open Source" (a disingenuous attempt to set aside Free/libre software) to advocate of Microsoft and GitHub in just 3 years (since taking Microsoft's money/bribes)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 26, 2020



  15. The 24/7 'Tech' Worker (Babysitter of User-hostile Computing) and 'Expensive' Programmer

    The rights of workers are being reduced to nothing (many in their older years made redundant), even in an occupation that is indirectly responsible for automating and thus deprecating jobs in many other occupations



  16. Why Techrights is Totally Unexcited About the New Owner of Linux Journal

    Linux Journal might soon become an anti-Linux site (veiled hostility) if Slashdot's editorial preferences are anything to go by (Slashdot has just seized control of Linux Journal)



  17. The Cheapening of the Programmer is a Threat to Human Rights of All Computer Users

    From the era of computer experts (down to the low level of computing with transistors), mathematicians, physics gurus and respected technicians we've come to orders-following, user-apathetic engineers who are overworked, grossly underpaid, and way too fearful of raising ethical concerns (voicing disagreement can result in prompt dismissal, followed by perpetual unemployment) and this ensures digital oppression without checks and balances



  18. Links 26/9/2020: Wine 5.18, FreeBSD 12.2-BETA3 and Debian 10.6 Released

    Links for the day



  19. 'Appeal to Novelty' as a Lever for Proprietary Software Monopolies, Bloat (Planned Obsolescence) and More Surveillance

    Novelty is generally fine, but in many cases products are developed iteratively (not cumulatively) not to advance society or to objectively improve services, only to increase control over people (because emergent ‘freemium’-like business models nowadays revolve around addiction and subjugation, e.g. ‘brain-farming’ and manipulation of minds)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 25, 2020



  21. Microsoft Windows is Obsolete

    The so-called 'leak' of old Windows code (almost 20 years old) is rather meaningless and useless; the world is moving past Windows, plus old Windows code cannot be used (due to the licence) and is barely used anymore, even in binary form



  22. [Meme] Conflating Critics of Corporate/Class Abuse With Womanisers and Chauvinists (and Now Doing the Same to Influential Women)

    It's regretful to see real victims of discrimination having their grievances and legitimate causes hijacked by opportunistic corporate media, which rallies a bunch of Internet trolls while oligarchs sponsor the whole thing, emboldening attacks on critics of powerful people (the likes of Jordan Peterson are a distraction; even women are nowadays being targeted using the very same tricks)



  23. Losing the Battle for Rights/Justice, Freedom/Liberty, and Emancipation Potential

    We're losing our most basic rights amid transition to "digital"; too little is being done to push back against this worrisome trend, which necessarily means reduction in both our freedom and our fundamental human rights



  24. Response to Eric Raymond (ESR) on “Last Phase of the Desktop Wars”

    Eric Raymond (ESR) talks about Microsoft's "embrace"; but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in his blog post, as we'll explain patiently, based on known facts



  25. Links 25/9/2020: Calibre 5.0, Fedora 33 Beta Days Away, Snap Setback

    Links for the day



  26. Faking 'Progress' to Distract From True Justice or From a Full, Meaningful Reform

    Activism for truly meaningful change doesn't stop at superficialities and cosmetic changes (which merely give a false sense/impression of accomplishment, resulting in inaction); we need to regularly consider how to dismantle injustice, not based on the criteria set by oligarchs-owned media, rallying gullible mobs to appease only big egos



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 24, 2020



  28. Richard Stallman: New Interview About Privacy (Published This Morning)

    “The last few months have put data protection back in the spotlight. During a crisis of this kind, do we have to choose between safety and privacy? We talked about this with Richard Stallman, digital privacy activist and the founder of the Free Software Movement,” RT says



  29. Links 25/9/2020: PostgreSQL 13, DragonFly 5.8.2 and Python 3.8.6

    Links for the day



  30. Code of Ethics Versus Code of Conduct in Action

    Reprinted from Daniel Pocock's Web site


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