06.08.19

Microsoft and Proprietary Software Vendors a Financial Boon for the Linux Foundation, But at What Cost?

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following figures/chart was released two days ago

A salary chart for Zemlin PAC

Summary: The Linux Foundation is thriving financially, but the sources of income are diversified to the point where the Linux Foundation is actually funded by foes of Linux, defeating the very purpose or direction of such a nonprofit foundation (led by self-serving millionaires who don’t use GNU/Linux)

THIS past week we got a lot of attention and received unprecedented traffic levels partly because of our Linux Foundation coverage. Incidentally, only days ago ProPublica released new tax filings in huge quantities, including a new(er) one from the Linux Foundation. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. In ProPublica’s own words (it is one of my favourite sites):

On Thursday, we launched a new feature for our Nonprofit Explorer database: The ability to search the full text of nearly 3 million electronically filed nonprofit tax filings sent to the IRS since 2011.

Nonprofit Explorer already lets researchers, reporters and the general public search for tax information from more than 1.8 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, as well as allowing users to search for the names of key employees and directors of organizations.

Now, users of our free database can dig deep and search for text that appears anywhere in a nonprofit’s tax records, as long as those records were filed digitally — which according to the IRS covers about two-thirds of nonprofit tax filings in recent years.

How can this be useful to you? For one, this feature lets you find organizations that gave grants to other nonprofits. Any nonprofit that gives grants to another must list those grants on its tax forms — meaning that you can research a nonprofit’s funding by using our search. A search for “ProPublica,” for example, will bring up dozens of foundations that have given us grants to fund our reporting (as well as a few filings that reference Nonprofit Explorer itself).

Among the files published we have the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) finances. It’s a relatively old form. The salary of the FSF’s Executive Director is approximately 7 times lower than what Jim Zemlin pays himself at his PAC, but we’ll come to that in a moment (it’s not comparable in terms of the years and matching documents don’t exist in the public domain).

“Some people became very rich in this whole process, notably Zemlin and his ‘circle’. Now they’re all millionaires.”ProPublica has made it difficult if not impossible to fetch the filings as PDF files. Hopefully their copies of the files won’t go offline (some day they will; it’s inevitable). What these still show us is the great disparity in the “Linux” world; It pays to be Linus Torvalds, but it pays even more to be Jim Zemlin. The latter did not create anything, but he rides the coattails of the former to make a household income of about a million bucks a year (and they have just one child). Today’s business model at this PAC is that of a marketing company. They totally behave like one.

Calling this PAC “naive” would be an understatement (as the word implies merely misplaced intentions). It’s greedy, corruptible and bribed, not just infiltrated. Some people became very rich in this whole process, notably Zemlin and his ‘circle’. Now they’re all millionaires. They ‘sold’ Linux to billionaires. To the likes of Microsoft. It’s very cheap too (a few millions, taking Microsoft perhaps minutes to earn). Microsoft wants and will always try to be “boss” of everything, even GNU/Linux. The PAC was a vulnerability, not a strength, as it’s a dubious, profit-driven ‘nonprofit’ that could be easily bought by anyone over the past 5 years (no community members at the Board, seats are virtually for sale).

Microsoft nowadays does to this PAC (the “Linux” Foundation) what it did to Novell and to Nokia. That’s just what happens when people refuse to learn how entryism works and how to counter it. When everything is for sale those who are most financially able (deep pockets) can get anything they want. It’s just a question of price. People at the “Linux” Foundation, who don’t even use Linux themselves, are making about half a million bucks a year by saying “Linux!” (just saying it is enough)

“Microsoft nowadays does to this PAC (the “Linux” Foundation) what it did to Novell and to Nokia.”In our view, Zemlin is to Torvalds what Don King was to Mike Tyson and it’s only getting yet worse over time. Torvalds said that Linux was “just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu”; well, maybe It won’t be anything professional like GNU, but it will be something professional like WSL inside Vista 10. Microsoft does the versioning now. It even gets to decide whether to sign Linux or not for ‘secure boot’ (or which distributions are ‘safe’ to run, which ones to block). I recently spoke to FSF people, including RMS, about the issue (notably Microsoft’s threat to the direction of this PAC); one main barrier, however, is the perceived rift. I’m not sure FSF would mind if the PAC just sort of went away…

According to the more/most recent publication from ProPublica, the PAC grew its income from $61,085,552 to $81,616,265 in just one year (between 2016 and 2017). No reporting since 2017, it seems, but it’s probably well over $100 million by now (nothing for 2018, at least now, and in 2017 it’s limited as explained here: “Extracted filing data is not available for this tax period, but Form 990 documents are available for download.”).

“It’s like it totally monopolised GNU/Linux, with a budget two orders of magnitude greater than the FSF’s.”Can’t they hire a few GNU/Linux journalists? At $100 per article they can afford to do a million articles per year with this kind of budget. We’re going to say more about this in our next post.

Zemlin increased his salary to $700,000+, but he cannot offer to employ a handful of writers? Really?!?!

There are 12 nonprofit organisations associated with Linux, but Zemlin’s PAC is a lot bigger than all of them combined. It’s like it totally monopolised GNU/Linux, with a budget two orders of magnitude greater than the FSF’s.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2019/06/08/boon-for-the-linux-foundation/

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. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  3. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  4. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  5. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  6. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  8. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  11. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  12. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  13. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  14. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  15. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic



  16. Who is Richard Stallman?

    Reproduced with permission



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021



  18. Links 13/4/2021: FreeBSD 13.0 Final, Slackware 15.0 GNU/Linux Beta Release and OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 Plans

    Links for the day



  19. IBM Stroking the Masters

    IBM continues to diminish its weakly-supported thesis about the word “Master” being inadequate in all contexts and IBM’s front group, the Linux Foundation, has just promoted more of that same self-serving agenda in the corporate media (screenshot below from 5 minutes ago)



  20. The 'Stallman Support' Web Site and How You Can Support Truth, Not Just Software Freedom

    The Stallman Support Dot Org Web site (stallmansupport.org, "In Support of Richard Stallman“), endorsed by Stallman himself, sets the record straight while the corporate media keeps peddling lies and distortions



  21. An Examination of Correspondence Between the Tweedledum-Tweedledee Duo, Lutz and Ernst

    A quick look at the letters and E-mails sent back and forth from the current VP5 and former VP5 of the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution that the German government has let exist outside the rule/reach of any law



  22. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 16: An Inimitable Duo

    How the efforts to reform the EPO's data protection framework were derailed by the actions of Lutz and Ernst



  23. How the GNU Operating System Really Started (Almost a Decade Before Linux Came Out)

    Later this year Linux turns 30, but Linux is just a component added to the GNU Operating System, developed a very long time earlier based on the design of UNIX (the mainstream media likes to distort that part of history); here’s the creator of the GNU Operating System, telling me his story here in the United Kingdom (we did many clips like these and this one seems very timely)



  24. Richard Stallman: The Other Things I Have to Say I Put on Stallman.org... Reject the Idea That You Have to Accept Something Like Facebook

    Transcript below



  25. An Ode to Dr. Ernst

    THE BUDGET is right...



  26. During Pandemic, With Rising Inflation, Corrupt EPO Management With Its 'Shadow Budget' Cracks Down on Education and Childcare Allowance

    While hoarding and misusing money (by basically granting lots of patents that ought not be granted) the management of the EPO hides it aside, then proceeds to crushing salaries and benefits of staff, even pensioners



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, April 12, 2021



  28. In Support of Richard Stallman Normalizing Truth, Reason, Dialogue: Introduction

    Reproduced with permission.



  29. Lunduke: Stallman & The FSF Respond To The Mob!

    A video response in support of RMS



  30. Links 12/4/2021: RSS Guard 3.9.2 and IBM-Funded Hacks Keep Attacking RMS

    Links for the day


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