12.27.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Novell Being Bribed by Microsoft to Support OOXML is Not News

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell gets 'bribed'

Summary: Groklaw, which helped Novell in its case against SCO, finally calls Novell a “community rat”; the company is being slammed from many different directions

IT IS surprising that Groklaw presents this as news. At “Boycott Novell” we have covered this for years and provided extensive evidence, too. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of what was up last week. Following the good news from Russia people recall he nastiness which surrounds OOXML. The FFII tells Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat:

@jwildeboer Do you remember how pissed #Microsoft was when KdV referred to #OOXML as an example for a royalty-free licensed std?

Harish Pillay from Red Hat writes:

I think I need to get the SPRING Singapore to deem the OOXML vote invalid in light of these M$-Novell abuses – http://ur1.ca/2n3c7 #fb

Let us remember what Microsoft did for OOXML in Singapore before the manager quit. Microsoft was bribing many organisations and companies to support OOXML. Essentially, Microsoft was buying friends. One of those bought ‘friends’ was Novell, which not only supported OOXML as a result of a large payment. Other examples include Windows and Moonlight, to name just a couple we wrote about. Look at Novell’s new announcement of a security product; the subtext says: “Latest version extends privileged user control, tracking and auditing capabilities to the Windows platform”

Yes, Windows. That’s what they add, eh?

Here is more new Windows software from Novell, which resembles this post from rPath. How about this new release from Novell? Or the new vulnerabilities? Or the press release whose headline says: “Novell Joins Microsoft Windows Azure Technology Adoption Program to Test and Validate Novell Cloud S”?

To quote the opening paragraph:

Today Novell announced it has joined the Microsoft* Windows Azure* Technology Adoption Program to address cloud security challenges through the Novell® Cloud Security Service. Microsoft and Novell will work together on pre-release, non-commercial, internal testing and validation of Novell Cloud Security Service on Windows Azure with a goal to deliver a consistent access, security and compliance management framework for applications hosted on Microsoft’s cloud application platform, Windows Azure.

Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones wrote in response to it: “Because who doesn’t think of Microsoft when they think about security online? Snort.” We wrote about this earlier today. Jones is right. She also denounced Novell recently [1, 2], having given this company the benefit of the doubt for far too long. For the “Boycott Novell” site this is major progress and IBM’s Rob Weir already uses Groklaw to inform people that Novell is trouble, that it’s essentially a traitor. “I just now saw two updates on Groklaw article,” wrote gnufreex in our IRC channels, “PJ finally calls Novell what it is: Community Rat”

To quote from this update to a post we cited before:

Update 2: Simon Phipps tweets that Miguel is sincere even when wrong, and so we should all lay off him. And he provides a link to Miguel responding on his blog now also.

I provide the links so you can reach your own conclusions. But here’s mine. The damage from Mono is real, regardless of motives. And the community is foolish not to say so and mean it. This isn’t about personalities. What does motive have to do with it? Sincerity can be more dangerous. And this is about danger. It’s about the community trying for code that is safe for everyone to use, unencumbered by Microsoft patents. If anyone is endangering the community with encumbered code, we need to defend against it. I don’t care about sincerity.

And why, pray tell, would it *ever* be all right to offer the community such encumbered code deliberately? If you follow the links in the article linked to above about him saying OOXML was superb, you will find him suggesting that to be safe, everyone download Mono only from Novell, due to the patent situation. Is that acceptable on any possible level? Not to me.

But let’s address the sincerity issue. Can anyone reasonably really think OOXML is superb? Superb how? Because it’s not. As a standard, it’s failed. The way you measure a standard is who can use it, how many do, and whether it works as passed. If it were superb, Microsoft wouldn’t have to hire Novell to make it sorta work, now, would they? No one uses it. Novell was hired to make it look like they do. Lots of folks use ODF, yet here’s Miguel once again complaining about alleged flaws in ODF and saying that OOXML is fine because ISO approved it. Puh lease. We got a window into the kinds of things Microsoft did to make that happen. Many consider that vote tainted.

[...]

The unalterable truth is that something awful happened. Something that we can’t ignore now that we know about it. And it cannot be justified. Not to me. As usual when awful things happen, Microsoft money is there in the center of the tableau, and so when we pull back the curtain suddenly, we see folks with their pants down and their hands out. I’m speaking of the company here. And to me, at least, it’s disgusting. Doesn’t it frame the sale of the 882 patents to a Microsoft-organized consortium in a clearer context? How could Novell do that, we asked. Now we know. It was part of a larger picture. We know now what we are dealing with inside the community. So it’s time to face up to it and start to plan on how to deal with it. As usual with problems, the first step is to acknowledge the problem honestly. And the problem is, not to put too fine a point on it, how to deal with Community Rats, corporate or otherwise, taking money from Microsoft and then subtly deflecting the community away from its goals. And now there is a new category: those who are sincerely misguided into thinking that doing deals with Microsoft won’t damage the community in the end. It doesn’t matter at all if they are sincere or not, even if they don’t even comprehend the problem. What matters is the damage that results or can result. I expect Novell would argue that what they did was a good thing. But can anyone argue that the 882 patents are not damage, regardless of Novell sincerity?

Incidentally, there is still time to sign up with OIN and get protection from those patents. The deal doesn’t close until January.

Groklaw’s job is to notice danger, particularly legal issues, and then tell it out. And I certainly will continue to do exactly that.

“Microsoft is funding our OpenOffice team to develop open source code that will improve the OOXML,” gnufreex quotes Miguel de Icaza as saying. Microsoft MVP de Icaza uses the term "Conspiracy Theories" to deny the obvious but mostly fails and Groklaw explains why. In Twitter, Weir writes to Microsoft MVP de Icaza:

Your were a Novell VP. It is hard to excuse yourself claiming ignorance of corporate agreements in this area.

And also:

You have your own independent standards arm staffed by NOVL engineers but not party to NOVL agreements with MSFT?

To one delegate who is supportive of ODF Weir writes:

I just don’t understand his argument. “I had bad judgment even before I was paid, so don’t criticize me for taking the money” ??

Rob Weir initially just cited Groklaw’s analysis where he also commented (there are over 500 comments there so far):

Anyone remember Microsoft, OOXML and Sweden? 1st time was a mistake. 2nd time an inter-corporate agreement . http://bit.ly/g8fvgQ

In Groklaw he writes

Back in August 2007 there was an uproar when it was found out that a Microsoft employee had offered “marketing support” and “additional support in the form of Microsoft resources” in return for Microsoft partners joining the Swedish national body, SSI, to influence Sweden’s vote on the OOXML ballot.

When that story broke, Microsoft’s Tom Robertson defused the crisis by saying that this was an unauthorized act of a single rogue employee:

“Microsoft corporate policy expressly forbids financial support, of any kind, to third parties for their participation as a member of a national body voting on the ISO/IEC standardisation of Open XML. This policy is widely communicated throughout the company and will be reiterated going forward”

So what does it say when we find out now that Microsoft signed an agreement with Novell, and as part of that agreement explicitly remunerates them for participating in the standardization of OOXML? And this was not low level employee acting alone. This was a inter-corporate agreement, no doubt reviewed and approved at the highest levels at Microsoft.

Here is Weir explaining his stance to Jason Brooks, whom Microsoft gave an expensive laptop. Speaking of buying votes, eh?

Weir writes:

But this agreement explicitly called for Novell to participate in ISO meetings. It even stated how many they had to attend.

And also

Surely there are ways of promoting a standard short of paying someone to participate in ISO?

Further in this discussion:

You would need to ask Microsoft why they articulated their corporate policy that way.

And then:

I have not found any ISO participant who says that it is a good thing for a company to pay another to participate in ISO.

Later on he says:

But I’m still pushing. Maybe Gareth will break down and give you a quote on why this is good for ISO?

And finally:

Remember, ISO is quasi-official, produces standards that via regulations have the force of law in some places.

Here is another reference to the long story of bribery from Microsoft:

I’ll give you a clue. A bribe comes with conditions.

He says to a colleague:

“Novell participating in the standard evolving in a manner that is consistent with the needs…” then lists Microsoft’s priorities.

And also:

Participation in ISO is not cheap, especially international meetings A company that subsidizes 3rd parties can bias results.

Then, to another person he points out:

So you see where it calls for Novell to participate in ISO meetings, and gives quotas for how many meetings they must attend?

A rhetorical question:

So are you saying then it is OK for one company to pay another to join and participate in an ISO committee?

Later he writes back to SJVN:

Well, that is the tragedy of ISO, that it is increasingly the collision of standards idealists and large corporations.

A broader picture:

Compare to US politics: via bribery laws, disclosure requirements, COI rules we can handle the involvement of corporations in politics

There is a lot more from him. Weir has been very active amid these developments, especially right before Christmas. He is one of the victims of this massive pile of Microsoft corruption which Novell was a part of. Groklaw regrets helping Novell and Jones goes as far as thinking of shutting down Groklaw because she feels betrayed. To quote some portions from a touching Christmas Day post:

I took a few days off from writing any articles, partly to try to make a serious dent in transcribing the Comes v. Microsoft exhibits. We’re in the home stretch, and a quiet weekend, marking on a curve, is perfect. I know there’s lots going on, other than work.

I also needed to take some time to think about the recent discovery about Novell taking money from Microsoft and contractually agreeing to show up at Open XML standards meetings and events. Should Groklaw stop helping people like that, I asked? Is it time to shut Groklaw down? If not, is there a way to carve out helping Linux and FOSS, which is what we are about, from helping self-interested executives and board members so that in essence we end up being used by them so they get larger piles of money because we worked ourselves to the bone and then they repay the community with such a deal as this?

Yes, I’m furious. Or I was. I always tell you the truth. And the truth is I felt used and abused. How could Novell enter into such a deal? Then top it off with selling 882 patents to a Microsoft-organized consortium? Why do I bother, I wondered? More seriously, I asked myself should do I ask you to help? We’re all volunteers here. No one pays us, and I feel a responsibility not to ask you to do anything that isn’t worth doing. So I had to think this through.

[...]

Is it intentional? Or does the heart find ways to justify what people want to do because they personally benefit? I leave that part to God. I can’t read hearts. I analyze behavior only. But I see results. It’s depressing to find out that community members are so easy to buy off, which is how I view it.

[...]

We’re in the Library of Congress, and we need to finish, I believe. It’s in that spirit that I’m back to working on the Comes exhibits until it’s done. So if there are no articles for a bit, that’s the reason why, but Groklaw will continue. I’m disappointed in Novell, but I didn’t start Groklaw for Novell, so I need to get over it and focus on the issues that matter to Groklaw, which have not changed just because Novell has made it harder to succeed. That’s the bottom line.

Needless to day, the Microsoft boosters came to this debate too (Jesper Lund Stocholm was obviously one of them) and there is a lot to be found in comments and in Twitter (plenty more where that came from). IBM is not happy with this part of Novell that has helped Microsoft and secretly helps OOXML to this date.

The FFII links to Groklaw and says: “Groklaw on why they were right about Novell”

Do not forget that “Boycott Novell” was also right about Novell a long time ago.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    December 27, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    Perhaps the ISO will finally take some corrective action.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’m sure it already has (ensured that next time the corruption will be less visible to the public).

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  2. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  3. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all stlll the same



  4. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  5. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  6. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  7. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  8. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  9. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  11. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  13. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  14. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  15. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  16. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  17. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  18. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  19. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  20. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  21. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  23. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  24. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  26. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  27. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  29. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  30. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing


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