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

09.14.10

Open Tech Exchange Explains How Microsoft Derailed GNU/Linux in Governments, Using “Corruption”

Posted in Africa, America, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Windows at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Under NO circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program [EDGI] actively and in a smart way.”

Orlando Ayala, Microsoft

Summary: Some very revealing details from people who are close to bad Microsoft affairs and speak about it in audio rather than dare publish it in writing (in blunt form)

Last week we learned that “Open source adoption lags” in South Africa. To quote the report:

Although SA is still lagging behind when it comes to embracing open source software, the increase in adoption has been growing at a steady pace.

This is according to Linux Warehouse, a distributor of enterprise open source software for Southern Africa

However, SA has seen an increase because companies have been facing financial pressures, says general manager of Linux Warehouse Shannon Moodley. “The open source market is quite mature; most of the large banks and telcos use open source in some way or form and many do so in mission critical environments.”

In line with this, ITWeb and The Linux Warehouse have collaborated to carry out an Open Source Software Survey to ascertain the level of use of open source and vendor-supported software, as well as identifying potential areas where marketing and education could add value back into the market on the solutions available.

As a little recap on what Microsoft was doing to free/open source software in South Africa around 2008 (loads of examples were given at the time):

There is this good show called “Open Tech Exchange” (an audiocast) from South Africa (and occasionally elsewhere) in which Microsoft's assault on Free software in South Africa was described earlier this year. A newer episode of the show helps shed light on the dirty Microsoft tactics which Microsoft used not only in South Africa but also in other countries. The episode’s summary does not mention this part, but our loyal contributor gnufreex transcribed it for future use because it’s rather revealing and another reader politely asked us for it.

In this episode Darlene and I chat about Crisis Commons, the dangers of cloud computing and the behaviour of corporates.

The part that’s relevant to us starts around 14 minutes from the start. The two hosts (a man and a woman called Mark and Darlene, whose voice/gender makes it simplest to distinguish, hence the omission of name from here onwards) first talk about South Africa moving to Free software and putting all the policies in place to develop many things locally.

The lady says that she came across an interesting Microsoft document about their plan not to let GNU/Linux win, no matter the cost. “For example,” she says “we’ve talked about Brazil several times… and how the government is committed… [but] Microsoft… went into provinces… and used provinces… where the leaders [aligned with the opposition]… signed deals… they are going province by province…

“How do you win against those tactics,” she asked. “Even in South Africa… they [Microsoft] announce they are going to build a laboratory…” (for an accurate transcription see below; the text here is messy because we try to succinctly encompass key points)

The South African guy in this show says (not accurate wording) that they “lost their moral dimensions to everything… it’s basically breaking the rules… it’s not really philanthropic or humanitarian… if you have people… sociopaths… they get put in institutions… I don’t know, especially in countries that aren’t in North America.. these things sound.. unethical… [people call it corruption... not euphemism, they] call it what it us… call it bribery rather than euphemistic names and stuff like that… the way they have been brought up… you play by the rules and that’s OK”

The lady says “they’ll take any of the royalties… they’ll take them and [send] them back to incentives funds”

Looking at the documents, she explains: “how do we change the tide?” She mentions the Gates Foundation and she is very cynical about it, philanthropy being part of it while there isn’t any of it (see transcript or listen to the show).

Some of the later parts are also interesting. There is an explanation of how Canonical managed to approach parts of Spain.

Later on they start talking about patents more generally. The lady says that “there is a company out there called Monsanto… this is just a small example [of patents]… so, [in] this company they have genetically-engineered their seeds… they made it into this terminator gene so that it cannot reproduce… here in Canada this corporation affected us… [tells a local story] went all the way to the Supreme Court…” (the Gates-Monsanto links are not mentioned here unfortunately).

She talks about farmers in India committing suicide over Monsanto-imposed debt. Then she explains how in Germany they patent the breeding of pigs (for pork) and mentions transplants for humans from pigs.

As this discussion about patents carries on the guy says that “Microsoft [is] becoming [like] more of a patent troll… making money from Linux”

He explains that “SCO [...] when the revenue stream dries up [...] then they’ll start to thrashing around… to continue to make a profit…”

He gives HTC as an example, explaining that Apple just wants HTC to stop making Android phones and won’t accept money, so HTC counter-sues. Microsoft goes to them not asking them to pay, or just tells them to say that “you are paying us a lot” in order to create a fake case against Linux and the perception that Linux owes Microsoft.

It’s “the same thing as having a nuclear weapons,” he argues, when you actually have no nuclear weapons at all. They won’t go to Google asking for a patent deal as “they only go to companies they know they can negotiate a deal with”

Then they both mention Microsoft pressure over Dell’s 10 seasons to go with GNU/Linux. The man calls it “strong-arming” and we covered this in [1, 2, 3].

The guy explains that Microsoft need only pretend to be doing “open source” in order to block genuine Free software from being adopted in the short term. It’s a long-term investment for Microsoft which substituted what we once knew as Free software, instead promoting Microsoft stack-only ‘open source’ (marketed by Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga in this case).

This helps justify our attempt to dissociate Microsoft’s embrace-and-extend moves from real Free software which annuls monopolies and lock-in, instead promoting standards, as well as a truly free/libre stack.

We found it rather amazing that Matt Asay, who almost took a job at Microsoft some years ago, defends Windows monopoly and other monopolies by just assuming they are a natural phenomenon. He did not accept the point that “monopoly for an open standard is a great thing, monopoly for a product is not.”

Apology for Microsoft’s bad behaviour is part of the problem and Asay has a history in that regard (inviting Microsoft to “Open Source” events, to OSI, and more). Yes, he almost went working for Microsoft and unlike the good guy from South Africa he doesn’t call corruption “corruption”; rather, he almost defends it because it’s more convenient for someone in his position who is business oriented and perhaps less ethics oriented. His role in Canonical is still worrisome given the opinions he expressed and continues to express.


Transcribed text of audiocast “Open Tech Exchange” – Episode 22

[15:00]

“And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost.”[Darlene:] I came across interesting documents… it was result of a court case, so this documents become public. And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost. So the projects I have been involved at large scale… and so for example I was talking about Brazil several times on our discussions on the show, and how government is committed to open source solutions for education. But now Microsoft is… they go in, and what they’ve done you see… we saw them in South Africa, but in a way… so but they go into provinces that aren’t governor, or sets are not held by governing party, so the opposition party is in control of those provinces, and they go in those provinces and approached them and got them to sign deals with Microsoft and kinda undermine what the ruling party is doing… and the rest of the country. So they go province by province and manipulating the system… man… how one wins against those tactics? How do you win against those tactics? It is discouraging sometimes. Even is South Africa when there was a commitment, and we thought we might see a change here in 2010… but Microsoft just comes in and announces they are going to build huge lab. There is benefit to it, in the end. The development lab, the training lab, they promised billion rands… what are thoughts Mark?

[17:00]

“At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption [...] While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is.”[Mark:] I think part of the problem we have with they way companies run today… is generally why we end where we are. It is all about profits. And what is bizarre, lost all moral dimension of everything. Everything is okay as long it’s within rules you’re not technically breaking the rules. But they set aside all moral aspect of what you are doing. So with the [case of Microsoft] “we are giving people free software [as in piracy] just they can make sure we don’t lose market-share so we can sell more software later”. There are no any philanthropic, humanitarian principle. So the whole humanism side of things is gone. That is problem with corporate this days, they are simply legal entities. If you have person without any social conscience, no empathy and no sympathy, act purely in self interest… we have word for that kind of people, they are called sociopaths. And they get put away in institutions. And yet companies can behave like sociopaths, it seen as good thing and encouraged. Legally they have better odds than a person: If something goes wrong, they just close company and start new one. Whereas if you commit a crime you got to jail, you don’t get to start a new life. Especially for people that aren’t in North America and developed world, those things just sound so bizarre and underhanded and unethical. I don’t know how people get away with it. But it seems to be normal part of life [in developed world]. At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption. We try and fight it, if you talk with average person on the street they will be against corruption. While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is. People might say: in Africa corruption is endemic and it is hard to function without having to bribe somebody. That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.

[20:00]

“That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.”Darlene: So Microsoft does things like: They won’t take any of royalties from their sales as long it doesn’t affect OEMs, like the cost OEMs have to pay to put license on a machines. But then they take all of the royalties and revert them in incentive funds for all those countries. I guess after reading those document I thought “How do we change the tide”. But we are doing good. I think about my friend in Montreal, who recently left from canonical. How he worked the deal in Spain to get those large deployments of Ubuntu out there.

[25:30]

[Mark:] Microsoft is more and more becoming basically a patent troll. […]

HTC Desire, every time when you buy android phone, money goes to Microsoft. […]

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

2 Comments

  1. satipera said,

    September 15, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Gravatar

    That Matt Assay piece you linked to is an interesting read within an interesting article. He seems to see it as a choice between a fractured market and the order imposed by a monopolist. This does seem to ignore the obvious and ever more successful model so many of us support where companies compete around open and free standards despite the best efforts of some others. How his opinion in that piece can be reconciled with his current job is a mystery to me.

    dyfet Reply:

    Ultimately this is because the sociopath prefer to make markets closed in a fixed and finite game where anyone else’s advantage must then come at another’s expense as there are many tools to control and exploit these. Diversity is not fragmentation, it is an open market where any and all things may become possible based on real needs rather than artificial demand and artificial scarcity, offering growth to all rather than to some, and one where success is not predicated on another’s failure. Such markets of true abundance however offer no control points, and that’s why they both hate and fear freedom.

What Else is New


  1. Interesting Supreme Court Cases About Patents in the United States

    A quick review of some of the latest developments regarding SCOTUS (the US Supreme Court) as far as patents go



  2. Governments in Europe Still Active Against EPO Management

    There is still political work being done -- albeit rather discreetly -- against Battistelli and his goons at the European Patent Office's top-level management



  3. The European Spam Office (EPO)

    EPO budget at 'work', days after doing copy-paste jobs and also working overtime in the weekend for an extravagant and needless/purposeless event (except for Battistelli's own pride)



  4. Not Just Benoît Battistelli and Willy Minnoye (EPO): Željko Topić Too Thinks He is Above the Law, Avoids the Judges and Courts

    The latest developments regarding some of the criminal complaints and civil lawsuits against Topić, who is now a Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  5. Nefarious Forces for Patent Abuse and Software Patents in the United States, Australia, India, Korea, and Europe

    A roundup of news from the weekend and today, with emphasis on the elements inside the system (or the media) which push for regressive policies that benefit them financially at the expense of everybody else



  6. [ES] El Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU: Donde Uno Desperdicia Años en Corte y Gasta $8,000,000 en Honorarios de Abogados Peleándo una Patente Falsa

    un sumario de noticias acerca de las patentes de software en los EE.UU. Y ha lo que han llevado, debido en gran manera al decline en calidad de las patentes por parte de la USPTO (dejando que otros se las arreglen limpiando el desórden)



  7. [ES] La Oficina Europea de Patentes Todavía Sigilósamente Abusiva, Pagará $15,000 en Compensasió a Trabajadora Tras un Tardío Fallo de la ILO

    La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (ILO) emite un fallo en un caso de abuso de la EPO y nota “la excesiva duración de los procedimienteos internos de apelación.”



  8. Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

    Links for the day



  9. Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  10. The US Patent System: Where One Wastes Years in Court and Spends $8,000,000 in Lawyers' Fees Fighting a Bogus Patent

    A roundup of news about software patents in the US and what they have led to, owing in part to the USPTO's declining patent quality (leaving others to clean up its mess)



  11. The European Patent Office Still Silently Abusive, Will Pay $15,000 in Compensation to Female Worker After Belated ILO Judgment

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) issues a judgment on a case of abuse by the EPO and notes "excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings."



  12. [ES] Alice Continúa Quebrando Patentes de Software Asi Que los Abogados de Patentes, Cabilderos de los Monopolistas, Etc. Ahora Atacan a la Corte Suprema por Hacer Esto

    los cabilderos Corpórativos y abogados de patentes están tratándo de poner a Alicia en la tumba, por su impacto en las patentes de software que es muy profundo y así hasta ahora casi indetenible



  13. [ES] ¿Cómo Salvar la Reputación de la EPO?: Crear Más Jurados de Apelaciónes en Europa y Abolir la Malgíada/Malintencionada Fantasía de la UPC

    Una crítica evaluación de lo que ocurre en la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO), la que rápidamente se está yendo para abajo (y degradando sobre todo) a el nivel de los sistemas Chinos, en conjuntamente con corrupción, los abusos, y la bajísima calidad de las patentes



  14. [ES] La Corte de Apelaciónes del Circuito Federal (CAFC) Acaba de Ponerse a Favor de los Trolles de Patentes

    la tristémente célebre CAFC, que manifestó las patentes de software en los EE.UU, acaba de dar un regalo a los trolles de patentes quienes típicamente usan las patentes de software para extorsión enc complicidad con los jueces del Este de Texas



  15. [ES] Análisis de los Últimos Datos de Lex Machina Acerca de la Litigación de Patentes Muestra Como está Declinándo

    el Professor Mark Lemley de Lex Machina resalta las tendencias en litigation al colectar y analizar datos relacionados con patente y concerniéntes a monopolios intelectuales en general; actualmente muestra una sequía de litigaciones (muestran que ha disminuído)



  16. [ES] La India Está Teniendo Otra Prueba de los Peligros de las Patentes Occidentales, Debe Aprender a Rechazar Completamente las Patentes de Software en Medio de Gran Presión

    El gigante de software que es la India continua enfrentándos ea la cruel y agresivo cabildeo de Occidente, haciéndo que este controle a la India por patentes que no deberían de existir en primer lugar



  17. [ES] Microsoft Dice que Continuará Extorsiónando a Compañías Que Distribuyan Linux, Usando Patentes de Software Usuallmente

    La guerra de Microsoft contra Linux, una guerra que es peleada usando patentes de software patents (por ganancias y/o por chantáje con arreglos empaquetados), todavía continúa a pesar de todas las tácticas de relaciónes públicas de Microsoft y sus sócios



  18. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  19. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents



  20. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Has Just Sided With Patent Trolls

    The notorious CAFC, which manifested software patents in the United States, has just given a gift to patent trolls that typically use software patents for extortion down in Texas



  21. Analyses of the Latest Data From Lex Machina About Patent Litigation Show Some Litigation Declines

    Professor Mark Lemley's Lex Machina highlights litigation trends by collecting and analysing data related to patents and pertaining to intellectual monopolies in general; now it shows litigation droughts



  22. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  23. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  25. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  26. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  27. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  28. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  29. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  30. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope


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