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Proprietary Software Company With Microsoft Roots Organises ‘Open Source Think Tank’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Black Duck, a proprietary software company, organises the Open Source Think Tank 2011, which helps grease up lawmakers

Proprietary software companies with Microsoft commonalities or staff overlap are ‘diluting’ the message of the ideological competition, notably Free (libre) software. Given enough spendings it is not so hard to derail this competition, whose profit margins are a lot smaller.

Microsoft is trying to tell people what to think and how to feel about “open source” (and Free software). It pays professors who help achieve this goal [1, 2, 3]. The idea is, if Microsoft can become an authority in F/OSS — either directly or by proxy — then it can control the behaviour of its competition. Just watch Sam Ramji, who worked for Microsoft as the “open source” insider whose goal was to harm GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13], defending Lanier’s attacks on Free software and hacker culture last week. It is rather revealing.

“Microsoft is trying to tell people what to think and how to feel about “open source” (and Free software).”Mr. Galoppini says that “The Open Source Think Tank (agenda) will be held April 7–9, 2011,” but he also helps remind us that those who run the event are now acquired by Black Duck, a proprietary software company with software patents. It is holding the Open Source Think Tank under its thumb, at times using funding from Microsoft as we saw before. There are other Open Source “think tanks” that Black Duck has been getting into very recently. What’s wrong with that? Well, as we warned years ago, it is pretending to be an authority in open source even though it is a proprietary software company. These deceptions have helped mobbyists and lobbyists of Microsoft pretend to represent the opposite side while in fact doing it a disservice if not attacking it.

There is another story which is more or less related to the above. One reader of ours has just drawn our attention to what the Apotheker-led HP is doing with Microsoft right now:

Among the flood of computing vendor announcements that marked the start of the new year was one that might have been easily overlooked: Microsoft and HP unveiled converged application appliances for small businesses, business intelligence, analytics and email serving.

Only a few months ago HP got itself a leadership from Microsoft allies [1, 2], replacing Hurd [1, 2, 3, 4]. Is Apotheker still serving SAP/Microsoft or is it all about HP (which increasingly adopted GNU/Linux under Hurd’s reign)?

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  1. awaiken said,

    January 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm


    Could you explain this comment from your story with any relevant first hand knowledge and detail, “It is holding the Open Source Think Tank under its thumb…” How is it specifically doing that?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Your group is now owned by Black Duck and the think tank’s page says “© 2009 – 2011, Olliance Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.”


  2. awaiken said,

    January 24, 2011 at 6:19 pm


    Thanks for pointing that out, we’ll get it corrected, but still see no connection to the, “under its thumb..”, statement?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I just used the idiom:

    under (one’s) thumb
    Under the control of someone; subordinate to.

  3. awaiken said,

    January 25, 2011 at 10:04 am


    They certainly do have “legal” control but have clearly communicated that they will not exert “content” control which is vastly more important in this context. The Think Tank will continue to be the venue where everyone can come and express both their personal and professional beliefs in a safe environment. A little known aspect of the conference is that we have a simple honor code which everyone agrees to that states that attendees are certainly welcome to blog or tweet, but may not attribute any specific remark to a specific individual without getting their permission after the event. This has led to many wonderful and open conversations amongst a very disparate group – to the betterment of open source.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    But how does your new employer — a subscriber to software patents and a vendor of proprietary software — affect the stance of what’s called “Open Source think tank”. I hope you understand and maybe even share my concern.

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