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

11.21.15

It Pays (Off) to ‘Bribe’ the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

On newspapers for sale, not to the public but to the richest 1%

Les Échos and EPO

Summary: French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called ‘media partner’ (the EPO management is French-dominated)

We’ve finally finished colour-coding the EPO Wiki. Some of the items which we covered earlier this year showed how the EPO’s management had paid journals, newspapers and so on for puff pieces and positive coverage (basically bought coverage). Is this what science and technology stand for? Isn’t that a gross abuse of EPO funds? Remember how newspapers went as far as censoring their own reporters after the EPO’s managers had apparently paid. We’ll never forget this.

“Some of the items which we covered earlier this year showed how the EPO’s management had paid journals, newspapers and so on for puff pieces and positive coverage (basically bought coverage).”A reader has drawn our attention to this French article (translation would be appreciated). “I saw this bit in one of the comments,” he explained, “which you don’t seem to have picked up.”

Since we don’t have people who comprehend French here, it hasn’t helped. “Truly jaw-dropping,” called it our reader, “and we’ve seen a lot in this story already. “Les Échos” is a French business newspaper, who already swiftly canned coverage mildly unfavorable to Benoît Battistelli.”

We covered it earlier this year. Les Échos is basically disgracing itself and demonstrates that it self-censors based on who’s paying. The EPO is disgracing itself by paying journalists.

“Here are the first few lines of what on the surface seems to be a piece of, er, commissioned work,” wrote our reader, “followed by my quick translation…”

Here is what was sent to us:

Accueil > Dossiers thema > Transformation : mettre de l’agilité dans son organisation

Transformation : les « ennemis » de l’intérieur

Collaborateurs, syndicats et même patrons sont parfois si réfractaires au changement que le processus de transformation de l’entreprise s’en trouve contrarié. Les exemples de l’Office européen des brevets (OEB), Air France KLM et de PSA.

Looking at the page right now, we notice that it says this:

Collaborateurs, syndicats et même patrons sont parfois si réfractaires au changement que le processus de transformation de l’entreprise s’en trouve contrarié. Les exemples de l’Office européen des brevets (OEB), Air France et KLM.

Got the difference? Focus on the part that says “et de PSA.” Got removed? Was it self-censorship? Editorial decision? Pressure from the entities covered? Les Échos is increasingly looking like a farce.

Here is the translation we have been given:

Home -> Themes -> Transformation -> put agility in your organisation

Transformation: The enemies within

“Employees, unions and even bosses are sometimes so averse to change that the business transformation process is hindered. Some examples from the EPO, Air France KLM, and PSA.”

The part about PSA was altogether removed. In fact, PSA (PSA Peugeot-Citroen) is no longer even mentioned in this article at all! What a splendid act of deletionism, regarding a French entity (like much of the EPO’s management).

“The rest is a sickening puff piece,” told us the reader, “essentially LITERALLY revolving on how poor old Conducator Benoît Battistelli is hindered in his Promethean achievements by a mean backward union hostile to progress.”

As one person put it in IP Kat comments:

Maybe the appropriate moment to remind the readers that the French newspaper Les Echos is a “media partner” of the EPO (see the bottom of this page for example: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2eNzC-MVKc0J:https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor_fr.html , or already reported on this very blog: http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/06/french-toast-leaves-sour-taste-for.html ). Les Echos is bound by contract with the EPO and whilst Mr. Benoît Battistelli is so boastful on transparency, the contracts with the EPO “media partners”, alike his own employement contract, are well kept secrets. Careful observers can only speculate that actual journalism is not part of it since when it happens by accident, it is promptly corrected: http://techrights.org/2015/06/18/les-echos-epo-censorship/ and http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/06/french-toast-leaves-sour-taste-for.html ).

Anyone having followed the events can only come to the conclusion that the latest report of Les Echos does not depart from this secret contract since the misrepresentation of facts is systematic and the comparison of the EPO with other patent offices, not as local administrative authorities but as competing private entities, is stunning!

There are other good comments there, one about the timing of this article (exactly a day after massive staff protests, immediately to be followed by projection and blame-shifting):

I was at the demo and this article seems to have forgotten an important fight: the timing.

In their last meeting, the council instructed the president to renew social dialogue and start a social study. On the very day the board 28 meets, the president suspends 3 elected personal representatives. It cannot be by chance that it happens the very same day. Next, to make sure the council really loses face, he will probably fire all three on the day the council meets in december.

In the demo, Els Hardon said it looked like a declaration of war from the president to the council. Apparently, it is also not the first time that the president tells members of the council (who are supposed to be his superiors) that they are idiots and that he knows better.

The president is out of control. He is not following the orders from the council, that is a blatant fact. In the demo, it was asked whether he is actually becoming insane (not by Els hardon, I don’t remember by whom, more people spoke).

Now I have a question: what happens if the president of the office is incapacited (for example, because he is becoming insane)? Is there a provision in that case, something like an interim? I would like an article about that.

In the future we will cover more such stories because it is evident that EPO meddling/intervening inside the media (like paying Les Échos or some respected journals) has an effect. Les Échos is once again defending the EPO’s management, perhaps hoping for money to come from it in the future. Corporate media is not designed to inform; it’s designed to maximise profit.

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. Outsourcing to Microsoft and Openwashing as a Service (OaaS): This is the Linux Foundation in 2019

    The concept of "Open" at the Linux Foundation gives room for thought; are things really being opened or mostly marketed as "Open" and, if so, is the Foundation more like a marketing agency?



  2. Links 23/8/2019: Wine 4.0.2 Released, Removing Qt 4 From Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  3. Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

    Links for the day



  4. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

    "This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software."



  5. Linux Foundation's Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

    Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only 'hipsters' can appreciate



  6. Managing IP as Team UPC's Megaphone and Lobbying Front

    Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site's long history promoting the UPC hasn't ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none



  7. No More Rights for EPO Staff?

    The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe's second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible



  8. Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

    Links for the day



  9. Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It's Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

    Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we're wrong; but it's more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)



  10. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

    "Every time a distro does not suit a user's purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one's own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born."



  11. Links 21/8/2019: Dell's XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

    Links for the day



  12. Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

    Links for the day



  13. Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

    Bristows LLP is at it again and it's getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual



  14. Guest Post: António Campinos' European Patent Office Redefines Modern Slavery in the Heart of Europe in 2019

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos — like his predecessor Battistelli — emulates Chinese labour practices



  15. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  16. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  17. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  18. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  19. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  20. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  21. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  22. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  23. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  24. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  25. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  26. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  27. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  28. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  29. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  30. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'


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