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

05.15.10

Why Peter Murray-Rust Should Not Work With Microsoft

Posted in DRM, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peter Murray-Rust
Photo by jwyg, licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence

Summary: An open access hero asks whether or not he should work with Microsoft; Techrights responds

“Should I work with Microsoft?”

That is the question asked by Peter Murray-Rust, who sought a reply from readers. We’ll come to this in a moment, right after providing some background.

“Microsoft loves artificial scarcity, on which its entire business model is built.”Peter Murray-Rust is an admirable person and a high achiever. He is at the forefront of the open access (OA) movement and he advocates strongly the sharing of knowledge. Here at Techrights we have great respect for this man, but circumstances at work seem to have led him to the biggest enemy of open source (and by extension one of the principal foes of OA).

Peter Murray-Rust is currently pressuring the British Library to drop DRM. What he may or may not know is Microsoft’s role in opposition to his goals. What Microsoft is doing to the British Library is a subject that we covered some days ago (citing Peter Murray-Rust six times in the process). We quoted Microsoft’s CEO as saying that “DRM is the future.” One article worth reading comes from Forbes Magazine (2007) and bears the title “Microsoft: We Like DRM”.

By this point, we pretty much get the picture. Microsoft loves artificial scarcity, on which its entire business model is built.

Peter Murray-Rust continues his fair and balanced struggle to rid the British Library of DRM. He speaks to an ex-Adobe person:

He’s no longer with Adobe and he has written a useful account of the way that scholarly publications should be managed – in the browser, not at the server. I like his analysis. I am not against access control per se, and it works well in most cases – certainly far better than DRM.

Here is his latest post in this long series:

Draft FOI request to the British Library (BL) on Digital Rights Management (DRM)

[...]

I shall be composing my freedom of information letter to the British Library today. A week ago I asked informally on the blogosphere and twittersphere for feedback from academic librarians on the implementation, use, and impact of digital rights management (DRM) systems on the supply of academic material from the British Library (inter-library loans, ILL). This post represents what I shall write to the BL under FOI unless I get more feedback today. (I am stunned by the passive acceptance of the UK academic library system to the BL’s DRM (and presumably DRM in general), but will retain that phrase unless they can show that they have taken action to challenge the system, even if unsuccessful. It also appears that they have no public views challenging any sort of DRM and they accept what is given them).

This is excellent stuff.

As we pointed out on some past occasions (11 separate posts in Techrights cite his blog), Microsoft occasionally works with Peter Murray-Rust’s employer or affiliates, which makes it hard for him to have Microsoft estranged. Very recently he published this post which asks, “Should I work with Microsoft?”

These are serious concerns and I will address them. I have previously blogged about the relationship of me and my group to Microsoft (http://wwmm.ch.cam.ac.uk/blogs/murrayrust/?p=2249 ) where I have shown my reasons for working with them. The current concerns are different in that they relate to sponsorship but basically have the same concern that Microsoft are guilty of actions which put them beyond the bounds of acceptability.

I do not know Filippo, but I know Glyn Moody well. He and I share positions on the Open Knowledge Foundation advisory board and most of our views coincide. However he and I differ on Microsoft. I believe his view is that Microsoft is inherently “evil” in a way beyond the natural commercial orientations and activities of any large company. I do not take this view at present although as I have acknowledged some of Microsoft’s past actions were clearly unacceptable.

Let it be clarified that Microsoft is probably worse than before. It just employs a lot of PR agencies to embellish its image and bury criticisms. We have given a very large number of examples and it would require a long time to assemble a long list that convinces the reader/observer (a lot of unethical PR efforts, propaganda, bribed bloggers, and AstroTurfing as exemplified in the previous post are partly documented).

Microsoft’s latest strand of offences is racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. People must not be misled by memes like “new Microsoft” because this new Microsoft is more aggressive than ever and more dishonest about its intentions (it’s part of the PR spiel, along the lines of a green BP logo or Blackwater changing names).

No proponent of OA should befriend Microsoft. To repeat what we wrote yesterday, “dissociation from Microsoft is a survival skill, not intolerance.”

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/1/2020: Wine 5.0 RC6, Alpine 3.11.3

    Links for the day



  2. Judges Reject EPO Patents on Life as Constitutional Complaints Against the EPO Pile Up in Germany

    EPO judges throw out patents on life (CRISPR at least); there's now growing hope that they'll have the courage to do the same to patents on software



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 18, 2020



  4. StartPage (System1) Found New Spin Allies. Some Have Been Offered StartPage Jobs. Some Might Already be Working for StartPage in Secret.

    Pro-StartPage voices appear to be paid (or have been promised pay) by StartPage; the key strategy of StartPage seems to be, attack and betray people's privacy while paying people in particular positions to pretend otherwise



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 17, 2020



  6. Links 18/1/2020: Mir 1.7 and GNU Guile 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 16, 2020



  8. Links 16/1/2020: Mozilla Layoffs, PinePhone Braveheart Shipping, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Reaches Beta

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption

    Microsoft is working hard to describe itself as the exact opposite of what it is and what it has been; ‘Internet rot’ helps a lot with this agenda, not to mention control of the media (the narrative)



  10. The European Patent Organisation Continues to 'Piss All Over' Separation of Powers

    The EPO continues to scatter invalid patents (IPs) that are European Patents (EPs) all over Europe and nobody can stop this, not even the judges of the EPO because they lack independence (by their very own admission)



  11. Zealots of Team UPC (Patent Litigation) Now Attacking the Courts and the Judges, Removing Their Mask on the Face of Things...

    The tactics of Team UPC aren't changing, only the shamelessness associated with these tactics is changing (because it looks like the end of days to them)



  12. Microsoft Now Uses or Leverages Software Freedom Against Free Software

    A reader's explanation of what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with its so-called 'embrace' and what steps will come next (how they manifest themselves)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 15, 2020



  14. Links 15/1/2020: CentOS Linux 8.1, Oracle VirtualBox 6.1.2 and GNU Sed 4.8

    Links for the day



  15. OSI Board at Microsoft: This is How Institutions Die or Completely Lose Their Purpose/Direction

    The photo (or meeting) may mark the turning point of the Openwashing as-a-Standard Initiative (OSI), which less than a year earlier took a bucket of money from Microsoft



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 14, 2020



  17. When Microsoft's Actions Speak for Themselves (About Back Door Access)

    Unwittingly, people are being reminded of the 'special relationship' between Microsoft and the US Army (or government); The back doors or bug doors are still there, even 7 years after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks



  18. Why You -- Yes, You Too -- Should Consider Migrating to GNU/Linux

    The window is closing (and Windows/Vista 7 closing down); the chance to use machines that the users actually control is still there



  19. Can We Please Stop Lying for Microsoft in the Mainstream Media?

    Dishonesty for short-term financial gain (e.g. advertising money) will be a big loss in the long run. There’s a reason why so many news sites perish and Datamation (where I wrote more than a decade ago) now throws away remnants of reputation by spreading a big lie from Microsoft.



  20. It's Only Factual and Truthful to Point Out That About Half of the EPO's Management Committee Are From the President's Nation (and Many Are Underqualified Friends of His)

    The patent-granting extravaganza of what a reader and contributor of ours likes to call "Club Med" will result in great pain (not just for the Office but for Europe as a whole); pointing out who's to blame (the culprits) is an exercise in practicality



  21. Stranger Than Fiction: Team UPC's Mental Condition

    Team UPC's delusions continue to unmask UPC proponents (in 2020) as totally and entirely detached from reality



  22. Links 14/1/2020: IBM Joins LOT Network; X.Org Server 1.20.7, Tails 4.2.2 and Zanshin 0.5.71 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Vista 7 is Dead, Long Live GNU/Linux

    A reminder of Microsoft’s universal “PC tax” ambitions — evidence that the company was never interested in ‘playing nice’ with anybody



  24. Links 14/1/2020: Git v2.25.0 and End of Vista 7

    Links for the day



  25. Systematic Abandonment of the Independence of Judiciary at the EPO (or Collective Amnesia)

    The ‘constitution’ or the convention upon which the EPO is based (known as EPC) is routinely violated and nobody seems to care anymore; the EPO governs itself and conducts itself without as much as a fundamental legal text



  26. They Always Say They Love Linux (and 'the Children')

    Microsoft says it “loves Linux” and the Gates Foundation insists it “loves children” but the real underlying motivations have more to do with monopoly (Windows, Monsanto etc.) and nothing to do with “Linux” or “children” or whatever



  27. The Media's Obligation is Not to Repeat the Lies of EPO Management, But Money Changes Things

    The ridiculous lies about prospects of the Unified Patent Court are now spreading to EPO-friendly publishers — few powerful people to whom truth isn’t valued as much as the customers (their subscribers and sponsors are law firms)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 13, 2020



  29. The FSF and GNU Need a Better Savannah to Attract GitHub Refugees

    Thomas Grzybowski's explanation of why GitHub poses a risk to software freedom and what can be done about it



  30. Links 13/1/2020: Linux Lite 4.8, Linux 5.5 RC6, Corebird Continues as ‘Cawbird’

    Links for the day


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