Summary: Microsoft is trying to hijack the voice of “bloggers” and “FOSS” by hiring lobbyists, but Florian Müller has more clients for the astroturf campaigns
WHILE I WAS busy at work several readers of Techrights enthusiastically told me that Florian Müller had exposed himself again. But is it really news? We knew this all along and after some words that came through the grapevine this shameful lobbyist was forced to disclose that Microsoft was paying him. He wants to be treated with respect while for heaps money from malicious interests he is disrespecting society as a whole, then plays/acts like a “victim”.
“Hopefully this will stop tech news sites from citing him on #swpats.”
–ClaudioWell, the business model of Florian Müller is to pick up some money for an agenda/propaganda, which is not so different from that same old agenda of few others who attack Linux in public and seed the press with Linux-hostile coverage. Right now we see the Microsoft propaganda army (‘open’ nonsense, a loophole for patent attacks), where people are paid indirectly to do the spinning and all the systematic liars pressure journalists. Here is one of those spinners pressuring the former COO of Canonical to repeat the Microsoft talking points rather than think critically. From his own mouth: “When I tweeted as much, Microsoft’s Peter Galli was quick to email me to suggest I hadn’t understood; that “open source does, and will continue to, permeate Microsoft”. I am sure Galli and the rest of the open-source crowd at Microsoft sincerely believe this, but it’s hard to see how Microsoft can hope to embrace open source and other open technologies while sidelining them to a subsidiary.”
Just like other proxies that Microsoft sets up as controlled opposition inside FOSS, this one is a trap and it is worse than nothing at all. We are disappointed to see Red Hat letting a Microsoft employees spew out the propaganda in a Red Hat site and feeding the PR talking points, countering the scpeptics (those who use their heads, not press releases). It’s all just perception management, they try to remove opposition to set an organic/fake consensus. Red Hat issued a polite statement, which Microsoft spinners then use to pretend that Microsoft is now loved by all that is FOSS. This relentless PR campaign that’s just costing slush funds-level expenditures for the monopolist has been a smashing success. The goal is to pretend that Microsoft is not attacking FOSS and then allow Microsoft to speak on behalf of FOSS. We have given many examples of this over the years. One of their current lobbyists calls himself “FOSSPatents”, but nobody with a brain is falling for it. As one auidocaster put it, “Florian Mueller outs himself as #Oracle employee. Hopefully this will stop tech news sites from citing him on #swpats.”
So the trial began and Groklaw is all over the papers. Pamela Jones remarks on the fact that Oracle is paying Florian Müller, who served Oracle by having his lies implanted in the press (this is what they groom him for). To quote Jones:
Florian Mueller has confessed — in the interests of being “transparent”, he says — that Oracle has hired him, for his analysis of FRAND issues. I know. You are shocked, shocked. Who’d have ever guessed?
We did. Groklaw did. We get suspicious when someone’s “analysis” is uniformly that Google is doomed. It’s my Spidey sense. And it’s usually on the money, as they say.
It seems, according to the story, that Mueller and Oracle kissed and made up after he fought against Oracle and lost before the EU Commission, back when it was considering whether or not to allow Oracle to buy Sun. Remember the MySQL affair? No doubt Oracle deeply admired his work. Well. That’s not what *I* heard.
Anyway, he has known, I gather, that he was going to be working for Oracle as an “analyst” and “for the long haul” for some time, he indicates. But he didn’t think to mention it until now.
Does that clear up some mysteries for you?
Read the Slashdot and Groklaw comments as they are a lot more blunt and less polite. “Florian Mueller Outs Himself As Oracle Employee” is the headline in Slashdot. As Ryan said in our IRC channels, “he’s a whore, whores are always for sale, the price is negotiable… A guy walks up to a woman and asks “Would you have sex with me for a million dollars?” she says “Sure!”… so he asks “How about for $100,000?” “OK”… so he asks her “What would you do for $100?”… she says “What do you think I am? Some kind of prostitute!?”…guy says “We already established what you are, now we’re just talking price” :)”
We have already established a lot of evidence to show that Florian Müller is making money by attacking society for unethical corporations. These corporations are grooming their lobbyists and the end outcome is press distortion — a subversion of public opinion and trial by media. Florian Müller, whom his former boss dislikes with a passion, is exposed by him further, as follows: “Florian Müller (or Mueller when he is quoted in english articles), a self-acclaimed “expert” on software patents and nowadays quite a mouthpiece for FRAND licensing, has always been someone I had a love-hate relationship with. We fought together against software patents in the 2003-2005 years. And while he lost interest and left the stage with a loud announcement that he will never ever work on software patents again, decided to switch to soccer lobbying etc, I was hired by Red Hat, which was (and is) a dream come true and I continued my fight against “IP”-extremism.
“Out of the blue Florian came back to the spotlight a few years ago, fighting appartently for David against Goliath in the Turbohercules case (which later turned out to be a company that was funded at least partly by Microsoft), fought for (former) MySQL’s Monty Widenius to stop the SUN/Oracle merger (where Monty later supposedly admitted that Florian was the wrong guy for the job), admitted that he did some “strategic” consulting for Microsoft, shouted about billions and billions at stake when Oracle sued Google, admitted he worked on a research paper for Microsoft to explain that FRAND is somehow compatible with Free Software and Open standards – or in short: He came back with a flurry of stuff that seemed unrelated but not exactly on the same side as my fights.
“And while he lost interest and left the stage with a loud announcement that he will never ever work on software patents again, decided to switch to soccer lobbying…”
–Jan Wildeboer“I accused him at various times that a lot of what he claimed is FUD, blown out of proportion etc. But who am I to criticise Europe’s biggest expert?
“Now the court case in Oracle v Google has started. And after all the shouting about billions and billions at stake I was sure that Florian would either be in the court room or at least report the hell out of that case. As, after all, it was him who reported on it for a long, long time. But what did I see? Nothing.”
Here is what the site that habitually feeds the lobbyist wrote about him:
“So you’re commenting on your highly visible blog about patent case after patent case that deal with corporations battling over open source stuff, what does it matter if you’re taking money from one and not the other? If you don’t see any ethical problems with that, you might be Florian Mueller. Groklaw’s PJ (who has been suspicious of Florian’s ties to other giants like Microsoft for quite sometime) has noticed that Florian Mueller has decided to go full disclosure and admit that all his commentary on the Oracle v Google case might be tainted by his employment by Oracle. It seems he’s got a bunch of consulting money coming his way from Oracle but I’m sure that won’t undermine any of his assessments like Android licenses violate the GPL or that Oracle will win $6 billion from Google and Google was “at risk” of not settling despite the outcome that the charges later dropped to a small fraction of the $6 billion. Like so many other times, PJ’s hunch was right.”
If Slashdot keeps feeding this lobbyist (giving him a platform), then how come it’s publishing an exposé too? Lobbying is a malicious thing, and it’s time to react to it accordingly. This is of course part of the PR effort, and this piece of the puzzle must be recognised to realise that Microsoft is still AstroTurfing. █