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


Bruce Perens Sheds Light on How Microsoft Controls the Government, Using Lobbyists

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, OSI at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

Bruce Perens at the launch event of GPLv3

Summary: Bruce Perens explains what he has seen Microsoft doing inside governments in order to marginalise Free software, mostly through hired guns like CompTIA and ACT

MICROSOFT IS A political problem, not just a technical problem. In previous posts we showed how Microsoft controls the United States government (along with other proprietary software companies), but it’s not just a problem in the United States.

For those who are not familiar with Bruce Perens, here are some of our posts that mention him:

Perens has just published this post about government legislation where he writes:

Equal Representation, and Visibility of Lobbying

It’s been obvious, whenever I talk with government, that there’s a well-staffed Microsoft lobbying organization nearby, as well as intermediaries who act for them like CompTIA. Against them, there’s been a low or no-budget representation for Open Source, sometimes just me all alone. And of course the proprietary software companies can afford more advertising and they create lavish events to promote themselves.

To level out this situation, and many others, we need required public reporting of all lobbying, including the parties present, the time and duration of the meeting, and the topics discussed. The general public should be able to see that information on the internet with no more than a day’s delay, if they are to have a chance to offset the effect of the deep-pockets lobbyists.

In addition, there needs to be legislation protecting and promoting the access of the less-grandly-funded to those in government who have or will receive other lobbies, so that there can be balance of representation.

The only group he mentions by name is CompTIA, whose corruption of the political system and standards body we have documented in many past posts. Bruce Perens has already responded to ACT, which is another Microsoft front group (Perens knows that). Both groups happen to have lobbied intensively against ODF and for OOXML. Given Microsoft’s history of corruption when it comes to document formats, nobody should be surprised that Microsoft uses outside lobbying groups. From Italy we hear that this corruption never ends. Posted some days ago:

Microsoft, where did you get those data about OpenDocument?


I already explained in another article that open file formats are essential to save money in Public Administrations and make them more efficient and that the right choice for office document is the OpenDocument Format (ODF).

Since I regularly follow these themes, in September 2009 I received this request from outside Italy:

I have read in a report that: “According to Microsoft Italian regional authorities have examined ODF, but proposal for adopting ODF as the mandatory standard have been rejected” (translated by the sender of the message). This fact probably comes from this Microsoft paper. And we are trying to fact check it… can you help?

Back then I knew, just as I know today, that there is no law or regulation in Italy, not even at the city level, that mandates ODF as the only accepted format for office documents, regardless of the context. What I did come across in the last year, instead, were cases where nobody seemed to know about ODF or law proposals that, albeit unvoluntarily, may make the situation even worse. However, I did not remember ever reading about proposals of that kind.

Over in the UK, the story is similar but Microsoft’s lobbying groups are slightly different. Tim Anderson, a British Microsoft booster, gives lip service to a company which says that the UK government only gives lip service to F/OSS. Anderson writes about the claims from Ingres:

Ingres has a direct commercial interest in this, of course, so such statements are not surprising. Shine has a point though. It takes more than a few speeches to change the software culture of the myriad departments and other state-run entities that between them compose government IT.

Anderson is being an apologist here. It’s not just about Ingres getting a contract; it’s about a nation sticking to standards and to code that it actually owns and is allowed to modify and redistribute. It’s about the United Kingdom not being a hostage of some convicted monopoly abuser from the United States. There is no need for Microsoft apologists here, as they seem not to comprehend the very fundamental issues. The same goes for accomplices like BECTA, who take a similar approach of lip service. They try to silence opposition this way.

“It is crooked politicians like Luc Pierre Devigne and Pedro Velasco-Martins who allow this to happen.”Earlier today we posted videos from yesterday's event about ACTA, which Richard Stallman calls “Anti-Citizen Tyranny Agreement”. It shows how few super-wealthy corporations (mostly from the United States, but there is one Vivendi employee praising ACTA from the audience) take control of the law and actually run the governments against the people. It is crooked politicians like Luc Pierre Devigne and Pedro Velasco-Martins who allow this to happen. Given increased transparency, we can more effectively expose the conspirators involved in these unconstitutional steps that countries are taking to pass control to other counties (specifically to corporations in other countries). Here in the UK we have Mandelson with his Digital Economy Bill (DEB).

Leila Deen and Lord Mandelson
“Business secretary Peter Mandelson is slimed by an environmental protestor outside the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace, Pall Mall after allegations of ‘favours for friends’ over the Heathrow third runway decision” [Courtesy of “Plane Stupid”, via Wikimedia]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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 26, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: Bruce Perens Explains How #Microsoft Controls the #Government , Using Lobbyists http://ur1.ca/rcmu #act #comptia…

What Else is New

  1. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  2. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  3. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  4. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  5. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  6. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  7. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  8. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  9. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  10. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  11. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  12. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  13. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  14. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  15. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  16. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  17. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  18. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  19. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  20. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  21. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  22. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  23. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  24. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  25. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  26. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  27. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  28. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  29. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  30. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)


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