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

04.01.11

Legalising Corruption in Europe, the Microsoft Way

Posted in Europe, Microsoft at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Langham street, London

Summary: News from France and Switzerland, all showing that Microsoft is pretty much above the law

LAWS are affected by lobbying, which is why a lot of large corporations managed to legalise tax evasion in Europe, using newly-created loopholes. This is not exactly news and not even the subject of this post. We wrote about this many times before. The unfortunate thing is that Microsoft’s “special relationships” in France continue to enable the company to penetrate the French government. As “twitter” told us last night: “So if you check the two docs uploaded yesterday by CoinMeuh, (http://interopwikiproject.com/public-procurement-files) and that you read french you’ll see this is a pretty big tender where, most surprisingly, the french Defense Ministry contracts directly with MS Ireland. That calls for two comments, I think:

* why the heck would a french ministry buy directly from an US-based software vendor in Ireland instead of purchasing the same stuff directly in France? (as a government it does not even get the VAT)
* the scope of the contract seems very large, unusually large, as it covers pretty much the range of MS products in general. If someone has more background on this, go ahead.
[PJ: Some are questioning if this is legal. It's in French, but Google Translate will help you if you don't read French. I can't help but recall Steve Ballmer's "win win" speech when French President Sarkozy made Ballmer a knight of the legion of honor, of all things, in February.] – Interop Wiki Project

from PJ’s news picks

http://interopwikiproject.com/public-procurement:french-defense-ministry-buys-directly-fro

It gets worse with the publication of this ruling in Switzerland, which relates to a similar situation in France.

Open source vendors turned down by Swiss Federal Supreme Court

[...]

The original complaint was about the renewal of a licensing, maintenance and support contract worth 42 million Swiss francs (€32 million / £28 million) the Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics had awarded to Microsoft without public invitation to tender. This contracting practice, which the complainants say has existed since the 1990s, was the subject of a complaint by 18 open source vendors including various Swiss SMEs, Linux vendors Red Hat, Univention and Collax, and groupware specialists Zarafa and Open-Xchange.

Pogson rightly calls it a Catch-22 for the following reasons:

Now the Swiss Supreme Court has ruled that the lower court erred by not allowing FLOSS providers to object to giving M$ a sweet deal but also found that the FLOSS providers had not provided any evidence that they could meet the requirements of the purchaser (the Swiss government). The Supremes did not accept that no proof could be provided because there were no specifications… Catch-22. You can’t win in that court. Obviously the judges have been living in a cave somewhere for 20 years. Perhaps they have never heard of Munich or Extramedura. I find it tragic that supposedly wise people could make such a silly ruling.

For some background information about this case also see:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
  13. When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”
  14. Microsoft’s Allegedly Illegal Swiss Contracts to Take People to Court Again
  15. Microsoft’s Allegedly Illegal US Procurement Gets Frozen After Lawsuit

Microsoft is currently rubbing the back of the UK coalition government, too. To quote a prominent member of the FFII (2008), “Many participants and speakers referenced to the OOXML standardisation process, in particular were intrigued by the French AFNOR developments. Generally speakers feel concerned about OOXML to become a standard in governmental procurement. In private a government delegate compared Microsoft’s public affairs methods with the scientology cult.”

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. EPO Continues to Grant Hundreds of Thousands of Illegal Software Patents and the Media Doesn't Care

    The only thing worse than the EPO intentionally ignoring courts, Parliament, the EPC and so on is how corporate media and blogs controlled by law firms simply don't care or actively cheer for that



  2. Greenwashing to Distract From the EPO Breaking the Law, Rigging Justice and Its Own Courts

    The so-called 'Haar case' ends as expected; the EPO won't even deal with the question of legality, instead throwing it aside as "inadmissible" while bombarding the media with puff pieces about being "ethical", "social" and now "green"



  3. Linux.com Has Become a Microsoft Promotion Site Under Linux Foundation-Appointed Staff

    The sole editor of Linux.com (after the layoffs of all staff) is a 'true believer' in the 'new' Microsoft and one who uses Linux.com to promote his personal site where he offers PR services



  4. Links 22/7/2019: SUSE Gets CEO From SAP, MuQSS 0.193 Scheduler, VLC Bug

    Links for the day



  5. Links 22/7/2019: Linux 5.3 RC1, GNU Hyperbole 7.0.3, DebConf19

    Links for the day



  6. Don't Kick the Puppy That is Suing Linux Using Patents While Bribing Officials, Threatening Critics and Hijacking the Linux Foundation

    Jim Zemlin is protecting the "puppy" (to use his own analogy), Microsoft, while getting paid about/almost a million dollars per year (about the same amount of money Microsoft pays his PAC)



  7. EPO Gradually Becoming the World's Most Permissive (Low Patent Quality) Patent Office by Consciously Violating the EPC

    Today's European Patent Office is making innovation a lot harder for Europeans; it limits what people can freely do, e.g. what computer code they can implement, and only lawyers are loving it



  8. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  9. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  10. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  12. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  13. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  14. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  15. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  16. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  17. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  18. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  19. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  20. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  21. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  22. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  24. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  25. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  26. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  27. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  28. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  29. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  30. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')


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