Corporate AstroTurf versus grassroots FOSS
Summary: Microsoft’s front group which pretends to support Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is using a guest post to entertain the idea of software patents inside Free/Open Source software
WHENEVER we see Open Source and software patents in the same sentence, there is the possibility that there is Microsoft spin-doctoring going on.
There is Microsoft-coordinated AstroTurf (with Microsoft lobbyists like Association for Competitive Technology) which tries to portray Open Source and software patents as symbiotic. Microsoft tries to tear apart the GPLv3 and by calling its lobbyist Florian Müller “FOSS Patents” it contributes to this nonsense. Black Duck and Microsoft-funded events like OSBC (that gave them an opponent’s platform) generally remain part of this problem too, not to mention Microsoft’s surrogates for FOSS groups, where the Microsoft equivalents push Microsoft licences, Microsoft proprietary stacks, and of course software patents. It’s all just a cunning plan to disrupt the opponent.
“Don’t let Microsoft teach the world that software patents inside Free/Open Source software are legitimate.”There is a relative of Matt Asay in the pseudo “Open Source” group of Microsoft. The monopolist has been finding him handy as of late and here again he does a guest post for Microsoft, pushing it into circles that are perceived as FOSS-friendly, such as Slashdot. It is “pushing software patents,” writes iophk, “Clark Asay, isn’t he Matt’s brother?” No, but he is a close relative of his. There seems to be a real issue these days with people whom Microsoft is “schmoozing”. The other day we wrote about Ubuntu getting a top manager from Microsoft; Ubuntu is part of the company where Asay had served as COO. Jono Bacon already responded to my post, but Jono’s first comment did nothing to disprove that post of mine, instead stating that he practices loyalty to his boss who came from Microsoft and telling us that Microsoft has nice people (giving the fake ‘Open Source’ fronts as examples), despite many in the FOSS world knowing otherwise. Jono himself received at least one gift from Microsoft after the company had also tried to hire him (he was strong enough to decline, so I commend him).
See how Microsoft privately describes what it refers to as "schmoozing". It is very telling, it is part of an infiltration strategy which Microsoft specifies in dozens of pages. Don’t let Microsoft teach the world that software patents inside Free/Open Source software are legitimate. █
Update: The Microsoft FUD is already seeding some harmful coverage, such as “Is Patenting Open Source Software The New Normal?”