06.05.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

Interference With Free(dom) Software Policy in European Governments and Beyond

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU flags

Summary: Countries where policy is written to prioritise Free software (i.e. software controlled by domestic companies) as well as open standards are facing interference from hostile pressure groups

With Microsoft moles inside many governments (we gave lot of examples) it is no wonder that taxpayers don’t have their interests served. As a bit of a primer, consider going through the following Wiki pages:

Over in France, which famously has gotten one of the strongest European pro-FOSS policies in place, funny business is going on. April writes: “The Senate, at first reading, and National Assembly commission of Cultural Affairs and Education, at second reading, voted for a provision giving priority to Free Software and open formats in the future “Public Service for Digital Education.” Regrettably, the government, yielding, without any doubt, to pressure from Afdel and Syntec Numérique, has just filed an amendment neutralizing this provision.”

“Over in Italy, rogue actions are being reported as people try to stall the famous migrations to FOSS.”Recall what Microsoft did about imminent ODF preference in France. It used proxies to derail the democracy and promote OOXML, i.e. Microsoft formats as a ‘standard’ [1, 2, 3, 4].

Speaking of people who boosted OOXML (e.g. Winterford in this case, the writer who became a Microsoft booster after receiving gifts from Microsoft [1, 2]), they are demonising FOSS, comparing the FOSS advocates to “crusaders” and even showing a photo of a medieval shield. The truth is exactly the opposite. The crusaders are the foreigners (multinationals) who try to impose proprietary software on populations across the world. Winterford must not be happy to see ODF elevated in his nation, Australia. He did a lot to promote OOXML after Microsoft had given him gifts.

“Microsoft can sometimes make the Italian Mafia look benign in comparison.”Over here in the UK, policy is being put in place which favours local companies like my employer (FOSS only). Pogson writes: “There it is, a whole government planning how to escape M$ and “partners” bloat. They are going to do IT the right way, considering what will give the desired outcome efficiently instead of just throwing money away to get the desired outcome any way possible. If we all did that would anyone pay ~$100 extra for a PC with M$’s OS on it, $150 extra for M$’s office suite, $thousands to run a server on a network? How about enduring endless malware aimed at the leaking hulk of that other OS and endless re-re-reboots?”

Over in Italy, rogue actions are being reported as people try to stall the famous migrations to FOSS. To quote: “The discussion in the working group that is supposed to detail when Italy’s public administrations should prefer open source over proprietary solutions, is stalling, says lawyer Ernesto Belisario, professor at University of Basilicata in the city of Potenza. “Some of the members think the law stipulates a technical and economical assessment, instead of reading it as a statement supporting open source.””

“The fight for FOSS in the public sector does not end when policies are written.”Recall the role played by Nichi Vendola. Microsoft can sometimes make the Italian Mafia look benign in comparison. Microsoft is desperate to stop FOSS expansion in Italy and some other news from Italy is now properly summarised in our Wiki.

The article above notes that “Carlo Piana, member of the working group on behalf of the Free Software Foundation Europe and the KDE foundation, confirms that the members do not agree on the reading of the law. “It is important that we agree on the interpretation as soon as possible, otherwise the working group will fall short on its tasks. “I don’t believe this will be the outcome, but if the current position persists, the communities I and the other members represent will strongly protest and we will have little choice but to take all the consequences on our contribution.”

“I am sure that the organisation will realise that this is a crucial point. The law clearly supports our position, for many good reasons. While we are aware that some level of compromise is necessary, this cannot be on the substance of the law and on the very mission of our activity. As Mr. Belisario correctly says, some may disagree with the law, in which case they can try to change it; but as long as it remains unchanged, the law must be abided with.”

“One strategy for impeding FOSS growth in Europe has been lobbying for FRAND and the unitary patent (software patents in Europe through the back doors). “The fight for FOSS in the public sector does not end when policies are written. Just look at what Microsoft did in Brazil to bypass policies.

One strategy for impeding FOSS growth in Europe has been lobbying for FRAND and the unitary patent (software patents in Europe through the back doors). Matthias Lamping does not think that the EU should embrace this trajectory for patents. He writes in a pro-patents blog that he “is not a big fan of the unitary patent package – not because it dislikes the idea of unitary patent protection for the Internal Market, but precisely because [he] does like it. However, creating a “unitary patent” which claims EU origin but disclaims EU character, just because something is supposedly better than nothing, is rather an act of desperation than sensible policy making. This is not the place and not the time to repeat old arguments, but [despite Merpel's warning that this might offend the sensibilities of some readers] one thing cannot be said often enough: False integration can be worse than no integration; and a bad court system is not necessarily better than no court at all. It may be true, to a certain extent, that the system can be improved once it is in force. But a house built on a shaky foundation will always be in danger of collapsing, no matter how many cosmetic repairs are made.”

It seems possible that, owing to pressure from countries like Spain, the unitary patent package will fall through. Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, the loudest opposer of the unitary patent package, said the other day:

that’s why I’m now 99.9999% sure that #UnitaryPatent will die, but what a waste of time/energy and political confidence!

The unitary patent package has taught many of us on the developers’ side that there will always be opportunistic lawyers/politicians looking to serve themselves and their friends at governmental/industrial levels. This incestuous relationship is all about self gain. The fight against corruption is perpetual and it is an important fight to be fighting.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

Edmund Burke

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 09/12/2022: Kubernetes 1.26 and Linux 6.1 Ready This Weekend

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Sirius Corporation: In A League Of Its Own

    When I joined Sirius ‘Open Source’ it was still funded well enough to offer swag, uniform, and even sponsorship; gone are those days



  3. Lack of Principles and a Lack of Honesty at Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Which Was Gradually Moving Away From Open Source)

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is still the official name of the company, but the company isn't really ‘Open Source’ anymore; it's not a viable company either, it's run by only a handful of people



  4. The Linux Foundation's Annual Report Was Made on an Apple Mac and Published in Proprietary Web Site

    Today (or earlier this week) the Linux Foundation boasts about its “community” (Microsoft and other Linux-hostile corporations it fronts for); it probably doesn’t want readers to know that its rejection of both GNU/Linux and “Open Source” is showing (the Foundation is not run by people who support Linux, they’re just exploiting the brand)



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 08, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 08, 2022



  6. Links 08/12/2022: Deepin 20.8 and CERN, Fermilab Move to AlmaLinux

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] Sirius Corporation Run by Dummies

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, the fish rots from the head down



  8. Code of Conduct-Like Culture at Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Managers Never Held Accountable for Anything, Other Staff Blamed for Management's Failures)

    Sirius was abandoned a week ago (my wife and I resigned with immediate effect), leaving a skeleton crew that’s about 50% ‘management’ (barely qualified or not qualified at all) and 50% 'low-paid' geeks (what’s left of them); guess who’s blaming who and who always gets punished



  9. Virtually (i.e. Online) and for Only One Hour the EPO's Staff Representation Was Allowed to Discuss Many Lingering Concerns

    “Report on the LSCMN meeting with VP4 of 9 November 2022″ (i.e. one month ago) is being circulated this week; “On 9 November 2022,” says the union or the local officials (Staff Union of the EPO, or SUEPO for short, has overlaps), “the Local Staff Committee Munich (LSCMN) met with VP4, Ms Nellie Simon, to discuss a number of prevailing local matters in a virtual meeting which had been scheduled, as had the previous one, for one hour only.” (the usual; they intentionally don’t allocate sufficient time)



  10. [Meme] António Campinos-Controlled (EPO-Commissioned) Surveys Are Just for Show (to Help 'Validate' Lies)

    The real EPO survey is not that one conducted by (and for) António Campinos



  11. European Patent Office (EPO) on the Decline, According to the Fifth Edition of the Technologia Staff Survey

    Today we share some documents that circulated amongst EPO staff yesterday; it's about this year's staff survey that was not conducted by the EPO itself (to serve EPO management and its twisted agenda



  12. Free Software is So Robust That Its Opponents Need to Travel 12 Months Back in Time in Order to Find Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) Material

    Microsoft- and Linux Foundation-connected sites help smear or stigmatise Free software (citing hostile 'experts'); this week they borrow news from 12 months ago to make a point



  13. IDG Has Resorted to Microsoft Marketing SPAM Instead of Actual Journalism

    Microsoft puff pieces are published as "opinions", disguised as "news" while in fact serving no purpose other than marketing



  14. Open Invention Network (OIN) Protects Amazon and AWS From Activists Like Us Who Want to Abolish Software Patents Through Reforms of the Patent Systems

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) does not exist to serve the Free software community but to work against it; the latest joining (AWS) proves this



  15. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is unable to cope with basic legal requirements such as sending payslips to staff (this hasn’t been done for months already!) and such issues have gone on for almost 4 years already



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 07, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 07, 2022



  17. Links 07/12/2022: ArcoLinux Beta 23.01 and Cryostat 2.2

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Where Did the Money Go?

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ became a company that cannot even do accounting right; pertinent technical employees had to do a lot of chasing for years just to get the basics rectified



  19. Evidence of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation) Failing to Pay Pensions, Failing to Inform Staff, Not Responding to Staff

    The job my wife and I left this past Friday (after about 21 years combined) had turned sour years ago; hoping that this serves as a cautionary tale to others, we've decided to show pension lapses, lack of payslips, and excuses that accompanied that for years



  20. Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 06, 2022



  22. Links 07/12/2022: Kali Linux 2022.4, GNUnet 0.19.0, and Pgpool-II 4.4.0

    Links for the day



  23. Subsidising the Likes of Rupert Murdoch is Not Supporting Journalism

    There are yet more attempts to tax citations; not only does that make no practical or moral sense, it's being lumped in or joined together with a must-pass "defence" (military) bill in order to suppress opposition



  24. Microsoft Layoffs Again

    The company behind Windows is in a bad state, but it is being propped up by the taxpayers; if rumours are true, Microsoft might get a lot smaller next year



  25. Microsoft is Killing Hospital Patients With Its Insecure-by-design Windows Operating System

    Many people continue to needlessly die because many hospitals still foolishly deploy Windows on mission-critical life-saving machines



  26. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Failing at the Most Basic Employment Regulations

    The company we left behind last week was a repeat violator of employment laws; to make matters worse, it led to its long-term or long(time)-serving staff becoming very baffled, having to contact the pension provider for clarifications



  27. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  28. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  29. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  30. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared




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