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

06.18.10

European Commission Still Lobbied by Microsoft, OASIS Does Not Support Software Freedom

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Standard at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OASIS members

Summary: Groups in Europe fight over the definitions of “open source” and “open standards”; meanwhile, “Free/libre software” is being left out of this conversation

THE EUROPEAN Commission made some disappointing statements recently [1, 2], probably and reportedly after being lobbied by Microsoft front groups like ACT (Jonathan Zuck’s current shell). For some background, see older 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?

According to this new report, the Commission is still being bamboozled by Microsoft lobbyists:

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes today (19 May) unveiled her strategy to create a “virtuous and self-replicating digital economy”. The five-year plan concentrates on infrastructure for high-speed Internet and fostering a borderless market for online music and film.

[...]

Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association of Competitive Technologies, stated: “Developing European digital services and products is crucial. European SMEs are not only users but often pioneers in developing new and original services which are critical for EU employment, competitiveness and growth. If we talk about our digital future, then innovative SMEs have to be a focal point. Policies should protect users and consumers, but also promote the innovative creators behind successful technologies.”

It is sad to see that the door is left open to lobbying groups that masquerade as fronts for SMBs whilst actually promoting monopolies that fund them.

The president of the FFII points to this new document from the EU Commission [PDF], saying that the EC stands for software patents in standards by arguing “There should be no bias in favour or against royalty free standards” and using the undefined FRAND term by writing: “IPR to all third parties on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms”

According to Red Hat’s opensource.com, the term “open standard” loses its meaning (partly due to lobbying). To quote:

Debate over the definition of an “open standard” has become a contentious one. Gerloff proposes that, “For a standard to be open, it is key that it can be implemented by anyone, anywhere, without asking for permission.” This perspective was largely reflected in the European Interoperability Framework v.1 (2004), but appears to have been abandoned in a leaked second version in October, 2009. “That was a key moment, when we saw how strong the lobby on the proprietary side is in Brussels,” Gerloff said.

Peter Brown (from OASIS, not the FSF) has also just made a somewhat hostile remark about “open source”:

It will also be important in the debate on the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) to assess the real value of open source as distinct from open standards. Whereas open standards contribute very positively to the IT eco-system, I personally believe there is much misunderstanding surrounding open source: even if ‘open’, increasingly complex code, often poorly maintained and under the aegis of a singly consultancy firm, can often create greater ‘lock-in’ and dependency than reliable, well-documented, licensed and known commercial software.

OASIS, the patron of ODF, made an encouraging statement about the subject of patents (not contradicting IBM's attitude towards software patents), but it is not to be viewed as a supporter of software freedom. OASIS is not supported by companies with such interests (IBM is the first member listed). To give one very recent example, see what IBM’s Rob Weir wrote about the FSF’s “4 freedoms” and presented some days ago. Here is slide 8 of this new presentation [PDF]:

Weir on freedoms

IBM keeps many of its crown jewels proprietary and it then raves about standards, obviously at the expense of software freedom. The screenshot above is part of several slides that demonstrate IBM’s attitude.

As we emphasised and showed many times before, IBM promotes the patenting of software. IBM brags about not only sending jobs to places where it’s cheaper (good for shareholders) but also amassing patents (monopolies), based on this new press release:

Since 1995, IBM employees in Massachusetts were awarded 2,950 patents.

Amongst IBM’s patents there was the attempt to have a monopoly on offshoring. The PR above is intended to send the opposite impression to the public in the US (jobs creation in Massachusetts).

Speaking of companies that drape themselves in “open source” while amassing software patents, how about Gear6? A couple of days ago we found this in The Register:

Gear6 fell on hard times, and a liquidation filing was reported in late April. Now Violin Memory has bought its technology assets, saying: “The venture funded Gear6 portfolio includes over 30 customers and multiple patents related to NFS Caching and Memcached.”

It doesn’t matter who applies for software patents. Such patents can change hands and sometimes end up being auctioned away to patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The only real solution is to eliminate software patents. More to come in the next post…

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 24/5/2019: PostgreSQL 12 Beta 1 and Rust 1.35 Released

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Strikes Further Diminish Chances of UPC Ever Materialising (in Any Shape or Form)

    The EPO crumbles under the weight of its own corruption while an increasingly-insane Team UPC pretends all remains normal and a patent trolls-friendly system is ready to take off



  3. EPO Allegedly Becoming Insolvent (Pretext for Cuts), So Staff Gets Punished While Management Takes the Jackpot

    The corporate 'logic' at the EPO follows the "shareholders' value" propaganda line as if the EPO is a private company looking to maximise revenue rather than serve the public



  4. EPO President Still Not Obeying Courts' Rulings

    Federation of International Civil Service Associations (FICSA) sent a message to António Campinos yesterday (the same day SUEPO publicly made a call for strike)



  5. António Campinos Has Run Out of Time and EPO Staff is Going on Strike (Skipping Mere Protests)

    European Patent Office strikes are to resume; as SUEPO recently put it, people have come to accept that EPO leadership has not really changed and none of the underlying issues is being tackled



  6. Links 23/5/2019: Elisa 0.4.0, OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  8. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  9. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  10. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  12. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  13. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  14. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  15. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  16. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  17. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  18. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  19. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  20. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  21. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  22. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  23. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  24. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  25. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  26. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  27. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  28. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon


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