04.22.10

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Hugo Lueders (CompTIA): Association’s Members Are “Trade Secret”

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

Summary: The CompTIA’s Hugo Lueders fails to inspire confidence in the front group that he helps operate to promote Microsoft interests such as software patents and OOXML

Microsoft’s front group [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], CompTIA, has been lobbying for Microsoft in Europe quite recently (and even 6 years ago when Hugo Lueders opposed EU fines for Microsoft’s violation of the law). Glyn Moody has attempted to find out who is funding CompTIA, to no avail. Hugo Lueders, a Brussels-based CompTIA agent whom we wrote about in [1, 2], claims members of CompTIA to be a “trade secret”. In the words of Moody:

…a cursory glance at the website of CompTIA, which represents the global IT industry, gives no details of the association’s membership. Asked by EurActiv to comment on this, Hugo Lueders of CompTIA’s Brussels office said such details were “trade secrets” that the association’s members did not wish to make known.

The idea that the names of members of a major trade organisation could be “trade secrets” would be pretty amusing at the best of times, but in a context of increasing openness and even nominal political transparency, is simply risible. It means that it is not possible for politicians or members of the public to see who exactly is behind CompTIA’s lobbying efforts, or to understand the real agendas behind its actions. The CompTIA’s reluctance to release even something as basic as its membership list can only be viewed with a certain suspicion: after all, as we are constantly reminded these days, those with nothing to hide, have nothing to fear…

One of our readers described Hugo Lueders as “a political scientist [who] also wrote in the German social democratic newspaper Die Zeit, adding a contribution about a Garaudy book (1972). The neo-Marxist Garaudy is today mostly known for his anti-Semitic writings.” Lueders, despite his affiliation with a front group, has managed to affect EU policy by entering the European Software Strategy process alongside Microsoft lobbyists like Zuck. We covered this in posts such as:

  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”
  10. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?

Over in New Zealand, Microsoft seems to be lobbying for software patents using partners and front groups. It’s just like OOXML (when CompTIA shamelessly lied for Microsoft) and a short survey reveals that 81% of those “representing ICT professionals throughout New Zealand” are against software patents.

Following the Commerce Select Committee’s recommendation to the Government to remove software from the Patents Act, the Society polled its members (representing ICT professionals throughout New Zealand), and found that 81% of those that had a view supported the recommendation to remove Software from the Patents Act.

This pretty much seals the deal, right? In a democracy at least. The New Zealand Computer Society, which opposes software patents, has this document [PDF] which argues that software patents are reduced to simply monopoly protection rather than promotion of innovation. Lobbyists too are reduced to simply monopoly protection rather than promotion of innovation.

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3 Comments

  1. Charles Oliver said,

    April 23, 2010 at 4:43 am

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    >Glyn Moody has attempted to find out who is funding CompTIA, to no avail<

    Nothing in the Illinois public records? Or are non-profit trade associations exempt from public records?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t think it’s a non-profit.

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    http://www.comptia.org/aboutus.aspx

    That might put it in the same category as the Linux Foundation, not sure. There’s a Software Freedom Law Show episode about the Linux Foundation which clears up the categories but there’s not enough info on that page to actually figure out what they are.

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