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

06.09.11

European Commission Wants to Pay Commissions to the United States

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The European Commission makes strategic mistakes that weaken Europe and give more power to its rivals across the Atlantic, especially gruesome software monopolists

TECHRIGHTS has a lot of respect for Neelie Kroes and the Commission, but if the current agenda is to pay American companies for the privilege of running systems with American back doors (e.g. FBI access), then the European Digital Agenda (note capitalisation) is a bit of a farce. It also puts the continent at great risk in case of a future war.

A couple of years ago we showed how the Commission had been manipulated by lobbyists, then we also showed dubious appointments that made the Commission somewhat hostile towards Free software, and arguably European SMEs too. See for instance some of the following posts:

  1. European Commission Disappoints Regarding Free Software and Patents
  2. Why Today’s European Commission Could Face Legal Action for Selling Out to Microsoft
  3. Patents Roundup: Commission Sells Out to Microsoft; Apple and RIM Sued by Gates-backed Kodak
  4. Inaction From Ombudsman/EU Commission Regarding Microsoft Lobbyists Derailing Public Policy
  5. With New Patent Policy, European Commission Harms European Software Industry
  6. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  7. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  8. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  9. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  10. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  11. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  12. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  13. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  14. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”
  15. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?
  16. European Commission Still Lobbied by Microsoft, OASIS Does Not Support Software Freedom

Neelie and her speech writer who helps manage her blog are no longer in the department which deals with the Microsoft case, but it is hard to forget her more recent remarks that may conflict with her views on Free software.

In the video above, Neelie speaks not in her mother’s tongue and she actually maintains an interesting YouTube channel a lot of which is in Dutch. She did a better job in the Commission than some of her successors, whom we recently showed to be supportive of RAND (with software patents). They are being stuffed by lobbyists and the following new comments berates them for it. The European commenter writes:

If I am not mistaken Oracle is an American company and Mingorance a lobbyist of an American rightsholder organisation. I can’t see how views from American lobbyists are relevant for a European Digital Agenda, other than that we have to break free from our US lock-ins in the digital markets. In other words, let’s do what hurts them most. Small companies from Europe, companies which actually pay their taxes in Europe, are excluded here. What had the Commission in mind?

In the past, back when the Commission did some laudable work with the likes of Neelie in the right chair, telling off the Commission would seem unreasonably disrespectful. But things have changed. Right now, for example, even the FSFE criticises the Commission by showing that it sets a bad example for others to follow. To quote:

In the Commission’s answer to Staes, EC Vice-President Maros Sefcovic argues that “[t]he Commission does not rely on (or is locked into) one single software vendor”, citing the fact that the Commission’s IT infrastructure uses software from many different vendors.

[...]

While lock-in is a problem that troubles many organisations, our next concern is quite specific to this case: We believe that the European Commission should have put out a public call for tender when it wanted a new software platform. Instead, the EC simply declares that the move to Windows 7 is just an “upgrade” – just a newer version of the same product.

If “it’s just an upgrade” becomes acceptable as an excuse to ignore the competition and cozy up to a single supplier, then Europe’s market is in trouble; and not just the one for software. Imagine a local administration that decides to have the town’s main street repaved by the same company that built it in the first place, saying that they’re just “upgrading” the road surface. No new competitor would ever get a foot in the door. Public bodies would hardly ever have to hold competitive bidding procedures for any type of product or service they’ve bought before. This simply cannot be right.

The foundation of Europe’s procurement rules, Directive 2004/18/EC, says that those rules are intended to guarantee the opening-up of public procurement to competition. But it looks like in this instance, the EC has found a way to sidestep that goal, letting inertia (let’s be kind here, ok?) take precedence over competition and long-term value for Europe’s citizens. The Commission itself feels the need to emphasise that “it always complies with public procurement legislation”. We’d certainly hope so.

It doesn’t help that the EC is obviously confused on the commercial nature of Free Software when it uses “open source” as the opposite of “commercial software”. Some people in the Commission seem to believe that there is no money to be made with Free Software. The many companies that have built their business on software freedom would certainly argue otherwise.

This is not the first such complaint from the FSFE.

Whatever happened to the European Commission, it is now in danger of earning notoriety just like NATO or the UN. If it allows itself to be steered by lobbyists and monopolies, then there is no longer need for it. Taxpayers just do not receive what they paid for, not even fines imposed on Microsoft for breaking the law [1, 2] (which has cost European citizens a lot of money over the years). We need the ‘old’ Neelie back — the assertive one, not the softened one.

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 Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  2. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  3. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  4. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  5. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  6. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  7. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  8. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  9. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  10. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  11. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  12. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  13. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  14. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  15. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  16. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  17. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  18. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  19. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  20. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  21. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  22. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  23. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  24. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  25. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  26. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  27. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  28. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  30. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers


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