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

09.28.10

Microsoft Front Group BSA Lobbies Against Open Standards and for Software Patents in the UK

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Patents, RAND, Standard at 9:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do not disturb

Summary: The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is the latest Microsoft-funded lobby which is shown doing Microsoft’s ‘dirty work’ in Europe

THE BSA has a long tradition of lobbying for Microsoft on the subject of patents and standards. It’s just one of those front groups like the ones we mentioned a couple of hours ago.

Not so long ago there was a meeting at Westminster eForum and it was attended by Free software proponents, who were somewhat shocked to find it stuffed by Microsoft lobbyists that use almost the exact same talking points as Microsoft Florian and ACT (RAND proponents because it blocks Free software).

“They all use the same lobbying line, almost as though they study from common guidebooks.”The head of the FSFE, who is currently under attack from Microsoft Florian, said to me that “Two separate Microsoft reps pushed the same (F)RAND position at IGF week before last, plus BSA last Thursday.” He was talking about ACT’s appearance at IGF [1, 2, 3, 4] (ACT had three lobbyists in a row). “I couldn’t be less amazed, really. Just dimly sick. Arguments disqualify their proponents,” wrote Carlo Piana. They all use the same lobbying line, almost as though they study from common guidebooks. “This is like Florian mueller wrote it. Completely pro-M$,” wrote gnufreex regarding this new post about an older leak we covered in posts such as:

Anyway, among those who attended Westminster eForum there was Glyn Moody, who received a compliment when someone said he is “incredibly good at deflating nonsense w/o getting angry. Watch him dissect BSA’s standards FUD” (here are just portions of the post in question):

Last week I went along to the grandly-named Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar on Open source software: in business, in government. The good news was that it offered one of the best line-ups of open source know-how in the UK I have come across. The bad news was that the seminar’s venue was quite small and not even full: these people really deserved a much bigger audience. The poor turnout was a sad reflection of how far open source still has to go in this country in terms of mainstream recognition and interest.

Things began with Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundaion Europe, giving a nice, gentle intro to all the basic concepts. There then followed a number of sessions, all of which had names that will be familiar to readers of this column.

For example, one on “Implementation and the costs of open source and free software” had fellow blogger Andrew Katz, as well as Alan Lord, Director of the Open Learning Centre (his speech is now online). Taking part in a discussion of “The challenges of deploying open source software in the public sector” was Mark Taylor, a tireless advocate of open source in business and government, and also a blogger here on Computerworld UK.

[...]

So once I had focussed my age-addled brain on the presence of the BSA at this event, I then re-read the title of the talk – “The European debate on software interoperability, openness and freedom of choice”, and noticed the words “freedom of choice”. I suddenly knew exactly where this one was going.

[...]

My impression was that Mingorance’s presentation depicted such RF licences and the software that required them in a rather negative light. The GNU GPL, for example, which is one of the main licences that cannot accommodate FRAND licensed-standards, was described by him as “IP-restrictive.” Since “IP” is actually a government-granted monopoly – and most people agree that monopolies are bad things – that’s like describing the police as “criminal-restrictive”: true, but a decidedly odd way of looking at things.

[...]

The trouble, then, is that BSA is inconsistent: it asks for “dogmatic preferences” to be avoided, with no “favour” being shown to “one software development model”, but fails to recognise that its own preference for FRAND, rather than RF, licensing is “dogmatic” in precisely this way, since it favours certain development models over others, like those producing GPL-licensed software.

So when it comes to creating level playing-fields through open standards, let’s avoid double standards. RF licensing discriminates against no one, and favours no one; it maximises the number of rival offerings and hence increases the overall competition. This allows customers to procure their software “based on functionality, performance, security, and cost of ownership”: who could possibly be against that?

Microsoft lobbies extremely heavily against Free software right now. Those who have not noticed probably don’t know Microsoft’s lobbyists. Microsoft rarely lobbies directly just as it rarely markets its products and stalks its opponents directly. We gradually map them.

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 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day


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