“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”
–Richard Stallman, June 2008
Summary: Success for Microsoft propaganda amid FOSS spin and well-calculated PR campaigns
THE Microsoft press is not enough for PR campaigns which delude and forever deceive. Recently, Microsoft hired more PR people, whose goal is to sell the lie about Microsoft as a friend of FOSS. This PR agents ‘alliance’ needs some people (including new PR employees) to spread the lie and disseminate lots of spin so as to squash and maginalise truth-tellers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. If the lie is repeated enough, then enough people still start to believe it’s true. They are manufacturing consent, at least in the corporate press.
As we mentioned some days ago, the spin includes Red Hat-flavoured messages. The reality is that it's worse than nothing at all.
Here is how Simon Phipps put it:
But Microsoft’s overt hostility has given way to a more pragmatic approach, at least on the surface.
Microsoft has come to the realization that open source is an inevitable part of the marketplace and has instead tried to triage it, first at arm’s length, then increasingly through open source projects. Indeed, Microsoft is the 17th largest contributor to Linux, hosts project at its nonprofit foundation, supports the Apache Software Foundation, and regularly shows up as a sponsor of open source events.
Open source contact points are now all over the company, though no core products truly adopt an open source approach. Behind the scenes, however, Microsoft continues to subtly undermine open source, as demonstrated by this week’s FOIA-backed revelations from Glyn Moody about how Microsoft lobbied against open standards in the United Kingdom.
The new subsidiary is another evolutionary step in Microsoft’s open source pragmatism. Since, as Paoli is careful to say, this move changes nothing about existing engagements by Microsoft projects, why is the company doing it? I see little evidence that the hostility to open source has softened at the executive level, though Ballmer no longer derides open source openly. But on the ground, the market is forcing Microsoft’s hand.
Free/Open Source advocates need to spread the truth to counter Microsoft’s PR campaign. This is the company which is still suing Open Source using software patents. Only a few companies are deep-pocketed enough to be able to afford to fight back (in a way which is worth the legal expenses). Motorola/ Google is currently fighting back and here is the latest : “Motorola Mobility has won a patent ruling in its attempt to block Microsoft from importing Xbox game consoles.”
“U.S. International Trade Commission Judge David Shaw found today that Microsoft was infringing on some of Motorola’s patent rights, according to a Bloomberg report.
“The entire six-member trade commission, which has the power to block imports found to infringe on U.S. patents, is expected to review the decision and issue a statement in August.”
Motorola Mobility did not attack Microsoft. It was Microsoft which attacked, seeking to extort or ban Android. █
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Summary: Formic remarks on a “company founded by Microsoft marketing exec Doug Levin.”
It’s quite profitable to be a Microsoft propaganda shill. Black Duck Software reports it’s strongest quarter ever; a company founded by Microsoft marketing exec Doug Levin. What does Black Duck Software do? They publish reports we all know are anti-GPL marketing via proxy on behalf of Microsoft.
“They have also been promoting licenses that are not copyleft protected; as such Microsoft would be able to pull more than just FreeBSD’s network stack.”
–FormicWhen Black Duck Software reports its strongest quarter ever that tells us all one thing. It tells us that we now have proof that Microsoft has spent the most it ever has undermining free software (at least in regards to pseudo third party studies). This also wouldn’t include all the funding spent on bloggers and other types of astroturfing.
Black Duck Software has a history of promoting open source licenses that don’t require Microsoft to give up the right to sue over patents. They have also been promoting licenses that are not copyleft protected; as such Microsoft would be able to pull more than just FreeBSD’s network stack.
It is obvious to us why Microsoft would fund them, and given the fact that they were founded by a Microsoft employee; it doesn’t surprise us that Microsoft’s propaganda arm has had it’s strongest quarter. It also tells us that Microsoft has never given up its fight against free software, it is still funding and fighting it. █
Editor’s note (Roy): The above article was written after IRC discussions, and although I am not aware of any direct payments from Microsoft to Black Duck, those two did announce a professional relationship 3 years ago. One reader showed us the latest propaganda. “Here’s the article that the Microsoft shill is probably responding to (link).”
“Surprise, surprise,” says one commenter, “yet another anti-GPL study from Black Duck software.”
“Of the two choices,” says our reader, “it’s probably PR campaign.” Here is the PR and here is background about Black Duck. FUD is profitable, and it helps Microsoft, the “open” company, based on the numbers which speak of strong FUD, not a strong quarter. “Slashdot got trolled by shill ‘bonch’ who dusted off old garbage from Microsoft mouthpiece Black Duck,” argues the reader. “Further, the noise is a dupe.” Let’s also remember OpenLogic and its latest adventures. Companies like OpenLogic and Protecode have a similar business model (and product) to Black Duck's. OpenLogic is run by a ‘former’ Microsoft exec.
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Summary: Google continues to fight against Oracle, but at the same time Google helps the USPTO, which is the root of the problem
TWITTER DID the reasonable thing (given the circumstances) and based on the will of engineers, Google might follow suit one day, even though the problem, as shown before, is that Google hired a lot of lawyers, to whom more patent mess is simply a work preference.
“It’s never good riddance at Google, not when patent lawyers have their own selfish interests inside the company.”The source of this whole problem is the USPTO. It’s never good riddance at Google, not when patent lawyers have their own selfish interests inside the company. Although Google decided to get get rid of one product (Patent Search Homepage) it is evident that Google is just shuffling a little bit while taking the same mess to the EPO. To quote: “We’re redirecting the old Patent Search homepage to google.com to make sure everyone is getting the best possible experience for their patent searches. Over the past few months, we’ve been making updates and improvements to the Patent Search functionality on google.com—not only are you able to search the same set of U.S. patents with the same advanced search options, the new experience loads twice as fast as the old Patent Search homepage, contributes to a unified search experience across Google, and sports Google Doodles as well. The team looks forward to including patents from other countries soon, and will be rolling out additional features to Patent Search on google.com in the future.”
In other words, Google is still helping the same system which is punishing Android and Linux. In some sense, Google does even more evil by extending that patent system aide to more countries, for profit, as usual. Ken Hess, who has been baiting Android in his blog, says that “Google should have found a Java alternative. But software should not be patented”. Groklaw continues helping Google [1, 2, 3, 4] while “Oracle’s Copyright Case v Google Takes a Big Hit”, but one must not forget Google’s reluctance to squash patents as a whole. Google should strike at the root by ending the USPTO’s participation, not just for Android but for software as a whole. Google is said to be spending a record amount of money on lobbying (see today’s news), but what ever happened to an ambition to eliminate software patents? If Google wants to do good — not just do “no evil” — then it will actually use its lobbying power for good causes. One might blame the Hubris at Google, the company which, as Fernando Cassia puts its, “knows better” than those mere peons who “play” in its online “playground”. To quote: “Many people who thought they could get away with running the old GMail user interface despite contant nagging to “switch to the new look” have quickly discovered that the almighty Google has decided it knows better, and proceeded to force everyone to the new. UX designers are ‘humbled’, but not for long…
“…Google has decided it knows better, and proceeded to force everyone to the new.”
–Fernando Cassia“Nine months ago when the GMail New Look was being introduced, Jason Cornwell, UX designer for GMail said in his Twitter account that he was “humbled” by the response from users. If we take the dictionary´s definition of the word we get “Made low; abased; rendered meek and submissive; penitent”. Hmmm, in other words, it looks like an “Epic fail” to me. So, they learned from past mistakes, right? Wrong.”
GMail also suffered downtimes recently, proving to people that Fog Computing means computing you can’t rely on. Google is trying to convince governments to walk into this trap (downtime and handover of citizen data to a private company), which makes its lobbying not at all benign. To earn more respect from the public Google will need to start showing that it antagonises — not supports — the patent offices around the world. █
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