Summary: Oracle blog rant about EIF 2.0 said to have been removed; the role of the BSA in fighting software freedom is explained
THE PRESIDENT of the FFII points out that “Oracle´s blog post over EIFv2 open standards lobbying has disappeared” and that it can still be found here (titled “The EU goes bananas over EIF 2.0″). What’s the matter with all that? Is it possible that Oracle found it unacceptable to defend software freedom and standards (like Sun removed MySQL’s anti-software patents page following the acquisition [1, 2])? Here is a portion of what this newer Oracle post about the Digital Agenda says despite the fact that it too has been derailed.
The EU Digital Agenda (I gave it an 85/100 score), while laudable, stops short of using the term. The speech is a nice interpretation of her own document. I am told all other relevant Commissioners saw and accepted the speech in a brief interservice consultation. What that means is another thing. Are they blind? Have they changed their mind? Or, do they simply let her have her own opinions, but were not prepared to go as far as this in the Digital Agenda? Whatever lies behind what happened and what was said today, it is progress.
The next step for the European Commission is defining the term open standards. If they do that, and do it right, Vice President Kroes will go into history as having made a significant contribution towards global progress in e-government by possibly eradicating lock-in forever. Moreover, she will put Europe’s SMEs in a better position to succeed in a global IT market filled with barriers to entry from players not fully understanding, using, or unpacking standards.
For some background about the lobbying, see the following posts.
- European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
- Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
- Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
- The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
- 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
- After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
- Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
- ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
- Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”
- With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?
- European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
- Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
- No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
- Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
- IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
- EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
- Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
- More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
- Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
- Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
- British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
- Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up
- Patents Roundup: Several Defeats for Bad Types of Patents, Apple Risks Embargo, and Microsoft Lobbies Europe Intensely
- Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft’s Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)
- Former Member of European Parliament Describes Microsoft “Coup in Process” in the European Commission
- Microsoft’s Battle to Consume — Not Obliterate — Open Source
- Patents Roundup: David Hammerstein on Microsoft Lobbying in Europe; Harrison Targets Lobbying on Software Patents in New Zealand, Justice Stevens Leaves SCOTUS
The largest growing part of the software sector, and which most threatens the legacy business models of BSA members, is the Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement. I joined this multi-sectoral movement, which includes but is not limited to commercial software companies, in the early 1990′s. Most of the policies promoted by the BSA since the mid 1990′s have been aimed at stopping or reducing the growth of this movement. The two most active policies are software patents and legal protection for technical measures.
Independent software authors have obvious allies with other independent software authors. There is the Open Source Initiative, the Free Software Foundation and the Linux Foundation in the US, and various software user/developer groups in Canada such as CLUE: Canada’s Association for Open Source.
If you look at the membership for the Linux Foundation and the BSA, you may notice there are overlapping companies between who I consider to be my most obvious opponents and allies. This is not only true within these associations, but within individual companies. I’ve observed informal policy debates between employees of IBM, with these different employees being as far as two individuals can be from each other on key areas of technology policy.
The BSA members are using the labels as their public face to the political process, just as the labels have always used specific famous musicians as their public face. Michael Geist has suggested that the major labels are behind the latest Astroturf campaign, and from what I have seen I suspect this is true.