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09.07.19

Serco’s Censorship of Media or EPO’s Censorship of Media? Either Way, There’s a Profound Media Crisis in Europe.

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

All the articles below have been removed except Techrights’

Serco EPO deal censored

Summary: Team UPC and other patent maximalists are in control of most coverage in the domain of patents; but they go even further than that and it extends to actual censorship of already-published articles

THE WRITINGS we have about the European Patent Office (EPO) are astounding in the sense that they’ve helped expose various levels of cover-up. EPO abuses aren’t covered by the media (there are now stronger and more effective suppressions of such coverage), coverage of the EPO’s suppression of the media is also suppressed, and announcements about deals of António Campinos are being deleted from the Web. Moreover, comments about Battistelli‘s abuses are being deleted. There’s an orchestrated media campaign to make the EPO look good, possibly because of the UPC lobby or patent maximalists’ interests, e.g. those who promote software patents in Europe.

The U.S. has the First Amendment the press there is generally exercising more freedom than in Europe, so American media does occasionally cover issues with the USPTO. Europe? Not as much… the Internet censorship agenda is still very strong (notoriously so) in Europe, including in the EU.

“There’s an orchestrated media campaign to make the EPO look good…”The greater the suppression of facts, the more attracted we become to these issues. If Europe does not have independent media, or if European media is easy to bribe, how are we expected to guard democracy? Or to ensure laws are being followed? There’s this implicit consent among some publishers that exposing abuses is bad for Europe’s image and is thus better avoided. It’s like brushing issues under a rug/carpet.

Serco seems to be deleting references (except Techrights, which cannot be censored) to its deal with the EPO — a subject we covered/recovered here the other day. We actually saw 5 ‘news’ articles about it in search results; but when you click? Empty pages or 404 errors, i.e. articles removed. What’s going on?! It is worth remembering that when corrupt EPO management sent law firms to censor me (after exposing their corruption) they chose censorship by intimidation — demanding takedowns of articles; later they managed to censor also reports about their acts of legal aggression — attempts to silence me. Sometimes proactively (spiked articles). Censorship of the censorship. Criminals tend to do such things aplenty. There’s a lot of money at stake and powerful interest groups are eager to do anything they can — even silence the media if necessary.

“They recently admitted to the media (FT) that they merely try to maintain the fiction of “progress”. They’ve been doing that for many years.”UPC interests are a good example of it because media is being paid to lie about it, quoting the likes of Bristows. And speaking of Bristows, only hours ago we saw so-called "Kluwer Patent blogger" (probably Bristows) publishing this piece entitled “Great uncertainty but preparations for Unitary Patent system continue”. Is this the latest propaganda piece from Bristows? They’re absolutely desperate! They recently admitted to the media (FT) that they merely try to maintain the fiction of “progress”. They’ve been doing that for many years. Here’s what EU News wrote 7 years: “What is the ‘unitary patent package’?”

And 7 years later it’s dead. This whole thing was a coup and it failed badly. Meanwhile, by their own admission, Bristows et al delete ‘dissenting’ comments about the UPC, both in IP Kat and in Kluwer Patent Blog. They have done this for years (we wrote about it and gave examples).

As per this post from Friday, the ‘Kat’ is now run by — and promotes interests of — Big Pharma monopolists (Rose Hughes and her employer). This blog is sick. It’s not what it used to be. Watch comments like this one: “We can’t allow liberalisation of the regime until all the full risks have been assessed properly, and the fact that CRISPR modifications are normally less than classic GMO ones is not a good enough reason to assume that CRISPR modified plants won’t cause the same problems as GMO ones. Your article has not mentioned these problems which are huge in the eyes of many (see for example https://www.earth.com/news/gmo-crops-real-problem/). At a time when destruction of the environment has been declared an ‘emergency’ in the UK I would suggest caution is the best approach…”

Comments in IP Kat are still miles better than the posts because the posts are mostly lobbying and marketing of litigation firms and monopolies. No wonder coverage of EPO scandals is now suppressed. The blog is compromised (sometimes authored by Team UPC). Hello Bristows!

Bristows EPO

“They call themselves lawyers and attorneys, but they’re clearly a major affront to the Rule of Law.”If we cannot have free press in Europe, we won’t have justice either. We hope that readers recognise the threat Team UPC poses not only to the press but also — by inference — to justice. They call themselves lawyers and attorneys, but they’re clearly a major affront to the Rule of Law.

On Friday the EPO once again tweeted promotion of its cooperation and event with a patent trolls’ front group. We know whose side EPO management is on.

As an aside, a month later the Web site epostaff4rights is still offline. Our attempts to find out why have not been successful. So many publications about EPO abuses have already vanished.

Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part III: Making GNU/Linux About ‘Choice’ Instead of Freedom (as in Software Freedom)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous: Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part I: When Linux Actually Means Microsoft

Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part II: Stallman Appears to Have Fallen Into Microsoft’s Trap

Choice

Summary: An explanation of what Microsoft hopes to reduce Linux to; it’s not a new strategy as it goes back at least five years

THIS is a hard post for me to write. I’ve advocated GNU/Linux since I was about 20 and have used it since my teenage years. A Finnish student, Jukka, introduced me to it. Nowadays I’m not sure where we stand. I’m not sure what “Linux” means exactly (I don’t mean that in the dictionary sense or purely technical sense). The meaning of a word or a trademark, as it’s understood by the general public, changes over time. It’s done by the media and by hearsay; to a lot of people GNU/Linux became just “Ubuntu” and to many people GNU programs in the command line have come to mean “Linux” (if one checks their man pages it’s clear they’re part of the GNU project/toolchain). To many people “Linux” is some command line ‘thing’, not KDE or GNOME or Android.

Linux as a proprietary kernel/OS would be just another OS X or old UNIX. Linux was originally proprietary (before Torvalds picked the GPL). If we don’t keep Software Freedom in view, we’ll accomplish nothing but change of “Brands” or “Trademarks” or “Labels”. Do we want that? Is Linux just about choice? Or is it more than that? Linux as a proprietary OS is the choice of “choice” over “freedom”. As if all we needed is another trademark in the mix, not a paradigm change/shift that empowers developers and emancipates people in the age of oppressive ‘clouds’ (surveillance, back doors, censorship, rents, antifeatures and so on).

“Linux as a proprietary kernel/OS would be just another OS X or old UNIX.”Microsoft was never happy for Linux to adopt the GPL and its lobbying groups pressured Linus Torvalds to reject the GPLv3 (we covered that at the time). Microsoft, at the time, had ‘created’ and then backed anti-GPL firms (whose sole purpose was just that, by their own admission). It’s sad to see how Richard Stallman (RMS) lectures Microsoft on the Four Freedoms, which we doubt will accomplish anything to be most frank… they’ll also leverage GitHub to attack the *GPL regardless (we saw senior Microsoft staff insinuating something to that effect last year).

“It’s a shame the way he’s [RMS] demonized,” one person told me yesterday about RMS. “In a society of lies, speaking the truth sounds like insanity. He’s one of the few public figures I trust.”

One person in our IRC channels pointed out the recent CopyleftConf’s “Our Sponsors” page, which names Microsoft and OIN alongside the FSF…

Copyleft and Microsoft? But Microsoft is fiercely against copyleft. If sponsors attack the GPL, what exactly are they doing in this event?

The person who told us about it sought to connect it to the RMS talk. He said, “in your article about RMS and Microsoft, you state that RMS is not corruptible. How can you be sure of that? Are you implying that he or FSF don’t receive money from MS openwashing campaign? Did RMS give the speech in Redmond for free (as in free beer)?”

“Generally speaking, after the RMS talk people ask all sorts of uncomfortable questions.”He later continued: “what I cannot explain is the purpose of this conference in Brussels” (the one above, dated February 4th, 2019). He took particular note of “the involvement of MS/Google in organizing/sponsoring side by side with FSF (USA) with no participation of FSFE [...] better question is, why is Microsoft getting in and FSF acting like it’s OK?”

The Conservancy is there also. I must admit it doesn’t look too good. Generally speaking, after the RMS talk people ask all sorts of uncomfortable questions. Microsoft fans from Fossbytes use this talk to claim “Microsoft’s recent love for open-source.”

Watch these Microsoft spinners continuing to exploit the RMS talk to spread this lie (attacks as “love”):

The news was confirmed by Azure CTO Mark Russinovich who retweeted the post of Ale(ssandro) Segala.

[..]

Walking into the big tech’s office doesn’t mean that Stallman has going to become Microsoft’s new BFF. His website still reflects his keen interest in trying to point out “Reasons not to use Microsoft.”

Very little is known about the events leading up to it, but it fits perfectly into Microsoft’s current strategy, which ultimately makes GNU/Linux more proprietary (using new angles of attack).

“A lot of people, especially young ones who are subjected to revisionism and indoctrination, do not grasp why Richard Stallman is so important.”If Windows drowns (it does in the domain of servers), then Microsoft will try to take GNU and Linux down under (with Windows), forcing both to descend to the same level. This is more or less what we’re seeing. That’s very dangerous and it can reduce developers’ interest in GNU/Linux.

A lot of people, especially young ones who are subjected to revisionism and indoctrination, do not grasp why Richard Stallman is so important. If properly taken into account, he’s the (fore)father of FSF, GNU, Free software, Open Source and Linux. Those last two probably would not exist (in their current form) if it hadn’t been for Stallman — a point stressed earlier today in this guest post.

People who get all upset/worked up/angry at GNU/Linux (because of systemd and/or “lack of freedom”) and say things like “I’m moving to BSD” are missing the point. BSD-type licences are more proprietary software-friendly and are thus a step away from freedom. Getting annoyed at GNU or Linux or whatever is fine. Criticism is OK, it can often be constructive. But abandoning GNU/Linux and then moving to BSD means feeding more exploitation (like Apple’s).

There’s a good reason why copyleft got developers’ support and software monopolies fight it, resist it, reject it, demonise it etc.

“There’s a good reason why copyleft got developers’ support and software monopolies fight it, resist it, reject it, demonise it etc.”More people need to work to fix and protect GNU/Linux (already under attack from Microsoft and GitHub etc.) rather than walk away and give up. Google too is badmouthing the GPL to some degree. The desire to move away from Android is part of that. They’re losing control of their monopoly, so they fight back with all they have left. They want a more monopoly-friendly set of licences. Nothing pisses Microsoft off more than developers who delete their GitHub accounts and/or repositories. It’s apparently happening a lot more than people realise.

I’d note that I feel like the “delete GitHub” campaign that I started last year is very successful because: 1) some people told me GitHub had seen a lot of developers fleeing; 2) more new developers and project feel reluctant to join; 3) when I use the hashtag some developers then ask me what to do/use instead. Microsoft wasted a lot of money trying to buy control (a platform), so seeing people who walk away means their investment becomes moot, worthless. They hoped that control of GitHub would help feed Azure, Visual Studio and other proprietary platforms. They also hoped that GitHub would be exploited to steer developers towards ‘liberal’ licences (i.e. not copyleft).

Here’s a little bit of history, which can be verified by any curious reader. Microsoft’s plan to ‘steal’ all/most of FOSS by buying GitHub goes back to 2014 (when they stuffed GitHub with their code so as to game the statistics and call themselves a “top” FOSS company — a propaganda line constantly pitched by Mac Asay over the years). The “2014″ (year/date) isn’t made up; They told that to Bloomberg’s Microsoft stenographer in retrospect (that’s Dina Bass, their longtime ‘shadow’/’mole’ in the media, based on antitrust/legal actions’ subpoenas).

“Microsoft’s plan to ‘steal’ all/most of FOSS by buying GitHub goes back to 2014 (when they stuffed GitHub with their code so as to game the statistics and call themselves a “top” FOSS company — a propaganda line constantly pitched by Mac Asay over the years).”That was one year before the “Microsoft loves Linux” PR campaign started.

2 years before ‘buying’ (paying) the Linux Foundation and getting seats in the Board.

Microsoft still executes an anti-Linux plan — a plan long, long in the making, which includes the change of CEO for PR/posturing purposes (Bill Gates is still in charge of the whole operation and he deeply hates Linux and GNU, based on subpoenas with his own correspondence).

The main manipulator is Guthrie. He entraps people and recruits moles. He has, in our assessment, been most instrumental in Microsoft’s war on Linux. People like Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza are just like props to him. Zemlin is a ‘useful idiot’ whom they made a multi-millionaire in exchange (Zemlin must be a happy man; without qualifications in technology he came to lead “Linux”).

“The main manipulator is Guthrie. He entraps people and recruits moles.”Imagine for a second. If you had been given a budget of over $20,000,000,000 (‘loose change’) to kill GNU/Linux as an independent pillar that competes with Microsoft, what would you do? Can buy companies and bribe all sorts of institutions… from OEMs to people. Even the OSI (‘slush funds’).

Microsoft did not port some proprietary software to GNU/Linux because it “loves” anything (certainly not FOSS; it’s still proprietary, monopolised by Microsoft alone); that’s just the “Extend” in EEE. Microsoft needs an exclusive “Extend” piece/latch.

Thankfully, Microsoft isn’t fooling the geeks. People with background in technology don’t believe Microsoft and whatever it says about GNU/Linux. People know there’s no “love’ (that’s PR! Companies aren’t people and corporations don’t fall in love), just openwashing. What corrupt press says about “love” it often says in exchange for payments (Microsoft is a sponsor and/or buys ads). Again, ‘slush funds’…

“We need to talk about these issues. The more we talk about them, the better. The talk interferes with Microsoft’s plans.”Had people actually believed Microsoft (it has a long history of lying, right from the start 4 decades back), Techrights wouldn’t be receiving record traffic in spite of “tough times” for journalism (I think we do a decent job at it). This week we have all-time record traffic (in 13 years). That in itself says something.

“I’ve been reading articles for quite a while,” one person said in IRC a couple of days ago. “excellent work, and I, as yourself and many others are, am very concerned…”

We need to talk about these issues. The more we talk about them, the better. The talk interferes with Microsoft’s plans.

Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part II: Stallman Appears to Have Fallen Into Microsoft’s Trap

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous: Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part I: When Linux Actually Means Microsoft

Stallman at Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft’s reaction to the talk from the founder of Free software (Stallman) seems to suggest that it was seen as a PR opportunity or openwashing stunt; but we still wait for an explanation from Stallman himself

RICHARD Stallman (RMS), who has been like a friend to me since more than a decade ago (our amicable connection goes a long way back), is being questioned. People want answers. I cannot give those answers. I asked him. He has not responded, which is uncharacteristic of him (I choose to blame a colossal backlog of mail, caused by reports of his talk at Microsoft [1, 2, 3]).

“Some people blame the RMS incident (this is what they call the talk — an “incident”) on bad judgment, a mistake basically.”RMS is losing credibility among some people who send me mail and people who are regularly participating in our IRC channels. I don’t know what to tell them. This might merit another follow-up post or even a whole mini series, which is what this is.

Some people blame the RMS incident (this is what they call the talk — an “incident”) on bad judgment, a mistake basically. And my wife asked about his mind’s state… knowing that he’s approaching 70. I assured her he’s fine. I last met him in person some years ago and he was sharp like an eagle. His mind processes a lot of information and many strands/topics very well. My wife then put forth a theory that maybe Microsoft’s surveillance netted something on RMS — something by which to control him.

At the moment we don’t know much about the RMS talk. There’s no video of it. From that talk all we have is a “second-hand” account, delivered by a Microsoft media mole in a Microsoft-funded site (someone else actually wrote it, as the author in the media did not attend this talk). We’re very suspicious of the publisher and her motivations. She’s like Microsoft Peter but at different publisher (CBS).

“At the moment we don’t know much about the RMS talk.”To be very, very clear about it, RMS did not change his views on Microsoft. An IRC regular of ours, who lives in Russia, recently attended an RMS talk in Russia (weeks ago; there were photos). He said that RMS ‘bashed’ Microsoft there — hardly an unprecedented thing. RMS said a long time ago that “Bill Gates cites copyright enforcement to justify Chinese censorship. Microsoft executives used to call us communists, but they are now clearly revealed as the ones who support communist-style dictatorship.”

Those were all along projection tactics. RMS also said that “[w]riting non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that’s good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better.”

RMS still believes that and Microsoft is still a proprietary software company. It doesn’t matter if they have events with “Open” in the name, e.g. “Open Cloud” — that’s just openwashing.

“Gates may be gone,” RMS said after Bill Gates had stepped down, “but the walls and bars of proprietary software he helped create remain, for now. Dismantling them is up to us.”

RMS got blasted for saying that at the time. Also, Gates has more or less come back to Microsoft since then. Gates is in charge of Nadella (through the Board).

Microsoft is not an open company. It’s a pretender. It’s open to bribery and it’s also open to “private” GitHub repositories, i.e. proprietary software on top of a proprietary software platform (that Microsoft controls and censors).

Microsoft also opened the door to an RMS talk. But that’s as far as “openness” goes.

“Full-spectrum dominance” comes to mind. This is what GitHub is to Microsoft in the software realm and we’ll deal with GitHub’s role in Microsoft strategy in a later part, which ought to be long and detailed.

“Microsoft also opened the door to an RMS talk. But that’s as far as “openness” goes.”Suffice to say, RMS is in a precarious position. His visit to Microsoft is now being exploited by Microsoft apologists.

They say things like, “even RMS is OK with Microsoft…”

People in IRC channels ask me questions because they too worry that such statement would be leveraged to paint them as “more extreme than RMS…”

What am I supposed to say?

I don’t know the pertinent facts because the story was ‘broken’ by Microsoft PR people.

As I wrote back in 2009, according to Microsoft apologists “Stallman is not permitted to defend Free software from Microsoft.”

That would be “extreme” — more extreme than Microsoft actively attacking Software Freedom, apparently…

The way I see it, RMS was likely ‘tricked’ by Microsoft. Maybe some cleverly-worded invitation, maybe sent to him through a former associate of his.

A year ago Jim Zemlin appeared at a Microsoft event in Israel (I assume he was invited and was shy to decline, for fear the declination might be misinterpreted as intolerance; RMS is familiar with such a situation because he decided to cancel his talk in Israel for purely political reasons). A video of him was taken and uploaded by a Microsoft executive (in an extremely short form that only shows him saying “Open Source loves Microsoft” while a GitHub takeover was assessed by antitrust regulators).

“The way I see it, RMS was likely ‘tricked’ by Microsoft.”The RMS talk at Microsoft, irrespective of the backstory and no matter its content, can be spun as RMS being “OK” with Microsoft. And if Microsoft is trying to discredit and suck the life out of GNU/Linux (or discouraging developers), then it may be succeeding. It would certainly have the most to gain from that. They try to incite developers against GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) whilst overlooking Microsoft’s ongoing crimes, which include bribery and shakedowns. That’s not a particularly new strategy. But it’s persistent.

What Microsoft does with GitHub is very bad. It’s not acting in good faith. “Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free,” Richard Stallman once said. Unless you're Persian and the project you want/need is on Microsoft GitHub.

“I could have made money this way,” Richard Stallman once said, “and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place.”

Microsoft owning GitHub certainly makes the world a worse place. Just look how many scandals they’ve had in the past year alone!

What did RMS expect to accomplish by talking to Microsoft employees? It’s like Church of Emacs went into a Mosque to teach people about Jesus and GNU. Obviously the number of (net) converts would be zero. So what’s the point? He risks his credibility (if not his life in the case of religious preachings).

“What did RMS expect to accomplish by talking to Microsoft employees? It’s like Church of Emacs went into a Mosque to teach people about Jesus and GNU.”Well, based on what I saw (feedback on the Web), he only had a lot to lose by going there, nothing to gain. People in IRC agree. They call it a lose/lose, instead of the win/win he was perhaps expecting. Moreover, it harms morale in the GNU project and can discourage some GNU developers and maintainers.

RMS once said: “Prior art is as effective as US soldiers in Iraq: They control the ground they stand on, and nothing more. I used to say Vietnam, but, well, you know…”

Same is true for Microsoft campus… he controls nothing there.

An associate of Techrights basically agrees with me; he considers that an innocent act of poor judgment.

“I was going to ask about that after reading your post,” he said. “They even had the gall to put the video in YouTube against his wishes so it is clear that Microsoft is not acting in good faith. Never have, never will. [...] Correction: there is no YouTube video of RMS, I read incorrectly.”

If there’s a video somewhere, we cannot verify that. We did see photos however. Microsoft staff took and uploaded photos.

“Otherwise,” he continued, “I’m not sure what to say. I am still thinking about it and also lack information such as what RMS and Microsoft representatives said publicly about the rationale for such an incident. One thing for sure is the FSF has lost control of the PR because his upcoming talk was not publicized. The microsofters will spin the heck out this incident.”

“If there’s a video somewhere, we cannot verify that. We did see photos however.”There’s that word again: incident.

“My initial reaction is that RMS has made a mistake which is a very, very severe and sore blow to his credibility and to the advancement of Free Software,” our associate continued. “I hope it was only a mistake and not that he is giving up. Or it could be that he was trying to make some kind of dangerous maneuver involving Microsoft. But from the little I know of his personality that seems unlikely. My money is just that he made a mistake but since he is not the kind to make mistakes like that I hope he is not getting up to the age where his mind is going (judgment can go bad when the heart, or circulation in general, starts to fail).

“I should ask then, is RMS ok both before and after the incident? I hope he’s not glassy eyed and starting to weakly bleat Microsoft talking points like Durusau and the others did.”

To bear in mind, in light of the RMS talk…

We apologise if questioning of his mental state came up; that’s just what some people are saying. Denying that they say this isn’t going to help. That would be censorship.

“There is apparently yet another campaign against both Linus and RMS,” this associate noted, linking to this new YouTube video as an example (“Response To Distrotube On RMS And Linus Stifling Linux”).

“There’s no doubt in our minds that regardless of intent (from RMS) the main party to gain was Microsoft.”“I’m not finding any news about RMS’ visit to Muppet Labs in the FOSS channels,” he said. “However, as linked to in the other mail, there seems to be an increased campaign against him and Linus on YouTube ramped up to 11 during the last week. Probably intended to coincide with RMS’ visit.”

Techrights decided to say nothing further (about this RMS talk) until RMS gets back with an explanation (lack of an explanation in its own right would be a sort of an explanation). I’m still looking at my inbox right now. Nothing. I hope for a message that helps clarify. He always responds to me, but not this time (at least not yet)…

In the next and perhaps final part (we might split it further) we’ll explain how that fits into Microsoft’s ‘grand strategy’. There’s no doubt in our minds that regardless of intent (from RMS) the main party to gain was Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part I: When Linux Actually Means Microsoft

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Revisionism is a powerful PR tactic

History

Summary: Media manipulation seems to be part of a longterm strategy of Microsoft, with brand dilution at the core of it

THIS mini series deals with a subject covered in two previous posts [1, 2] and this guest post. It’s motivated in part by Richard Stallman’s (RMS) visit to Microsoft — an incident which we’re sure will be taken out of context and misinterpreted in order to harm Software Freedom.

“It’s motivated in part by Richard Stallman’s (RMS) visit to Microsoft — an incident which we’re sure will be taken out of context and misinterpreted in order to harm Software Freedom.”We decided to give RMS a bit more than one day to respond to our query before going ahead with this long series. It’s not just about a Microsoft lecture; but it starts with it. RMS has not responded to me yet (he always does), but I imagine he received a lot of mail over the past couple of days. The FSF hasn’t made a statement, either. There’s a legitimate concern about lack of transparency surrounding his talk (RMS/FSF usually advertises these in advance). We’ll come to this in a moment.

Readers of Techrights, both new ones and longterm/longtime ones (some people have read the site since its birth), have hotly debated the subject, mostly in our IRC channels. The atmosphere surrounding it isn’t positive; it’s mostly negative. People are not happy. One Techrights reader said he was “very concerned about [issues] such as MS/LF [Linux Foundation] affecting Linux badly. I’ve just seen on the Trisquel forum that GregKH added Sasha Levin [Microsoft] to the active kernel list then there’s another link showing GregKH adding Ben and Sasha’s GPG keys.”

“We decided to give RMS a bit more than one day to respond to our query before going ahead with this long series.”Speaking of the Linux Foundation, and looking at the past ~12 hours’ “news”, we’re seeing more of the same pro-Microsoft agenda. Swapnil’s site is still cheering for Microsoft and its abduction of Linux to make proprietary products (example from less than a day ago, akin to this Microsoft surveillance with ‘linuxwashing’ — making proprietary software on Azure seem “open” or “cool” or “Linux”). Days ago he spoke about using Xbox and installing Vista 10; this is the sole editor of Linux.com! That’s a problem. Swapnil and I used to be friends when he actually promoted Free software. He also did an interview with me for his site (which has changed domain names at least four times). He ‘defected’ some years back after Microsoft had brainwashed him, perhaps along with some other influences (being associated with the Linux Foundation won’t help, will it?). This site used to be called Muktware (Free software), The Mukt and Linux Veda among other names. Now it’s pushing proprietary stuff (three examples from yesterday [1, 2, 3]).

Several hours ago Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols published an ‘ad’ for Microsoft (at ZDNet): “Microsoft hosts first Windows Subsystem for Linux conference”

“Microsoft gleefully distorts the meaning of “Linux” and there are those eager to help it.”“Microsoft will be hosting a community conference on the Windows Subsystem for Linux and related technologies in March 2020,” he said.

So what?

Microsoft gleefully distorts the meaning of "Linux" and there are those eager to help it. A very short time later this article was promoted by Swapnil in Linux.com. The top of the page now promotes “Linux” as a Microsoft asset (if only they got excited about it not when Microsoft controls it; Swapnil uses Windows).

But it gets worse. This weekend (so far) when you look for “Linux” news you get only Microsoft and Vista 10 news instead (this one shows up too). This is promoted by Linux Foundation associates. Very disturbing.

Hours ago someone asked in our IRC channels: “Why is this the only place that talks about Microsoft being the same.”

“This weekend (so far) when you look for “Linux” news you get only Microsoft and Vista 10 news instead…”Notice how nobody in the media (except Techrights) wrote about the Linux.com layoffs! Nobody. Unlike Linux Journal layoffs…

Why are the layoffs of many writers and several editors not newsworthy? They sacked everyone before giving Swapnil the ‘keys to the castle’ (as sole editor of Linux.com).

This media silence (about Linux.com layoffs) alone makes one wonder…

This isn’t normal. It’s similar at the EPO by the way. The media refuses to cover the scandals and in some cases the EPO bribed key publishers for it (especially publishers that used to cover some EPO scandals).

Some people’s job is to control the story media — collectively — tells; a decade back we named the PR agencies that do this for Microsoft. They push puff pieces and pay off those who tell what the clients don’t want told. Think of “Microsoft loves Linux”. We saw that at the EPO; They singled out ‘unwanted’ voices and crushed critics, sometimes by intimidation and retribution.

“Some people’s job is to control the story media — collectively — tells; a decade back we named the PR agencies that do this for Microsoft.”“The media is not to be trusted,” one person said in IRC a few hours ago (in the context of the Linux Foundation). “It’s somebody’s agenda they are pushing…for money or other gains.”

And “that wasn’t always their business model,” I responded. “Things changed.”

“I have noticed that since the Linus break he took, we don’t hear from him,” that person continued. “I think they got to him.”

We wrote about that many times, e.g. in [1, 2].

Someone needs to speak out. In fact, we can’t fight on our own (for the truth) and we need people to spread the word while there are sites that try to suppress it, e.g. by removing links (Hacker News censored a link to a story of ours a few days ago after it had made their front page; it didn’t matter that nobody complained about it, which in itself was rather odd). Sure, we don’t have money on our side, but truth too is powerful and it ought to be told. We can’t fight on our own against all the lies. We try.

As one reader put it a short while ago, “not hearing from Linus makes me uneasy for the Linux Kernel.”

Torvalds has done OK for himself, but what started before him in the 1980s is at risk. Sooner or later, unless we do more, people won’t be able to use Free/libre operating systems but some awful ‘cloud’ trap controlled by government/military-connected private sector. ChromeOS is OK by their criteria/standards; it’s not about freedom, it’s primarily about spying.

“Torvalds has done OK for himself, but what started before him in the 1980s is at risk.”“The great thing about Linux is that it’s a moving target,” one reader said. “Microsoft true colors will soon show.”

Microsoft “are really having a department to remove the bad stuff about them,” one reader said. Well, they also tried to get me fired — a subject I mentioned here in the past. They mentioned things that I wrote about them in Techrights (to my boss at work, which is unrelated to Techrights).

“The industry is now after Google in the present and Facebook also,” one person noted. “They don’t talk about Microsoft. I find that peculiar.”

“There’s a PR campaign,” I responded, and “it's promoted by sites funded by Bill Gates…”

“Microsoft pays people to discredit the privacy of Google,” a person said in IRC, whereupon I noted that also professors are paid by Microsoft to do this. It pays them for “letters”, for “papers” and so on and that goes back a long way; look up their “Scroogled” PR campaign and various articles we published here a decade ago. A couple of decades ago mainstream media exposed Microsoft as having paid university professors to mention Microsoft trademarks in their lectures.

“A couple of decades ago mainstream media exposed Microsoft as having paid university professors to mention Microsoft trademarks in their lectures.”We’re sadly moving into a bizarre (not brave) “new world” where Microsoft pops up even in its main competition’s sites. Hours ago we stumbled upon this from Linux Academy (scan the page for Microsoft and Azure; this is just wrong… and it’s the second time in a few days), this from Mozilla (wasting energy helping to prop up Microsoft’s universe of proprietary software… openwashing the ‘open core’ way) and this from RedHat.com (you expect GNU/Linux news and they give you .NET). These are all examples from the past 24 hours alone! We see more such examples every day.

The next part will deal with how Microsoft now associates itself with Stallman and the FSF (by extension).

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