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

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 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. Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

    Links for the day



  3. IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

    IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics



  4. When Patent 'Professionals' Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

    With buzzwords like "AI" and misleading terms like "IP" the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a "property" which needs "protecting" from "theft"; it doesn't seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software<



  5. The European Parliament Needs to Become More Outspoken About EPO Abuses

    There are few encouraging signs in Europe right now because the EPO's disregard for patent law (striving to just grant as many patents as possible) earned it much-needed backlash from the European Parliament



  6. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  7. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  8. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  9. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  10. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  11. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  12. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  13. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  14. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  15. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  16. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  17. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  18. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  20. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  21. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  22. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  23. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  24. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  25. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  26. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  27. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  28. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  29. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  30. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect


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