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

03.23.10

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 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  2. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  3. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  4. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  5. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  6. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  7. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  8. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  9. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  10. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  11. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  12. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    Links for the day



  13. French Politician Richard Yung Tells the Government About Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The subject of EPO scandals has once again landed in French politics, just a couple of months since it last happened



  14. The Sickness of the EPO – Part II: Background Information and Insights

    With a privatised, in-house (sometimes outsourced and for-profit) force for surveillance, policing, justice, public relations and now medical assessment (mere vassals or marionettes of the management) the EPO serves to show that it has become indistinguishable from North Korea, where the Supreme Leader gets to control every single aspect (absolutely no separation of powers)



  15. EPO Cartoon/Caricature by KrewinkelKrijst

    A new rendition by Dutch cartoonist and illustrator KrewinkelKrijst



  16. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  17. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  18. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse



  19. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  20. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  21. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  22. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  23. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  24. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  25. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  26. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  27. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  29. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  30. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts