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06.09.20

Appeasing Critics of Critics of Criminal Behaviour Isn’t Possible and Should Not be a Goal (Objective Impossible)

Posted in Europe, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some people’s salaries depend on rejecting uncomfortable facts

Penitentiary

Summary: Abusers hope to cage and shackle people who speak about their abuses (not only whistleblowers but also publishers); failing that, they smear those people (ad hominem attacks) and dismiss the message/s based on distractions and innuendo

THE EPO series (if “series” is the right word; it has become more like a multi-volume book after 6 years of daily coverage) exposes more corruption that I can recall and keep abreast of. It’s effective enough that for almost 5 years the management of the EPO — both António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli — completely blocked Techrights (their staff cannot access the site even though their staff supports Techrights!).

“And here we are in 2020; companies we criticise, including IBM, resort to familiar tricks.”When this site started in 2006 it focused on Novell and on Microsoft after they had colluded to use software patents against GNU/Linux. And here we are in 2020; companies we criticise, including IBM, resort to familiar tricks. They want to muzzle not only us but also people who support, read or link to our work. How very grown-up… like a child singing “lalalala” with one finger in each ear.

“Motives are hard to prove,” an associate told me this morning. It was said in reference to the latest nonsense in Twitter, which was the last straw to me. “Thus they end up being mostly dismissed as speculation, despite circumstantial evidence especially when a income is based on spreading Microsoft lies. In that way many people would not be satisfied even with a signed and witnessed affidavit from the offending parties. Instead, stay focused on facts of what is possible and from that what is happening and linking them to documented offences.”

“They want to muzzle not only us but also people who support, read or link to our work.”Techrights has over 30,000 pages. Techrights also has very confidential material from inside companies and organisations. Some of that material we must keep close to our chest (for safety reasons) and some gets published, often in redacted form (for source protection).

But there’s another form of distraction from facts, as our associate explains. In his own words: “So, is all the yammering about “ethical” licensing, a) strawman distraction to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom? b) reductio ad absurdum to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom? c) some other distraction to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom?”

“Richard Stallman has been quiet as of late; as for Linus Torvalds, the media only cares about what PC he’s using, not his work.”We didn’t miss the irony of people using the “ethical” label to do something that strikes at the very core of Software Freedom (which was inherently ethical in the sense it encourages sharing and nondiscrimination). It actively seeks to limit (in a discriminating fashion) distribution and use of software. A person who promotes this nearly made it into the Board of the OSI, which we generally regard as a lost cause regardless (too much GAFAM in charge of it, except perhaps the two “A”, Apple and Amazon). It really shows not so infrequently.

Maybe one day we’ll look back and recall in a way we can’t quite grasp now when exactly “Open Source” went rogue, in what fashion, using which modus operandi and what was done — if anything at all — to salvage Software Freedom. Richard Stallman has been quiet as of late; as for Linus Torvalds, the media only cares about what PC he's using, not his work.

“…the latest method seems to be misusing and misapplying the “conspiracy theory” label.”Techrights has long been rather different; for many years, even prior to Techrights‘ existence, I’ve had a loathing for corporate crimes. To me, Novell and Microsoft’s collusion with patents was more than an injustice; it was like an ethical crime against all the developers whose work Novell leveraged to sell SLE*. Novell, with many software patents under its belt, decided to leverage a sort of monopoly by exclusion with threats. Rarely did I receive a “thank-you” for standing up against that, but it was the right thing to do. It needed to be done.

Red Hat (IBM) isn’t doing the same thing and I’d probably never call for a boycott against Red Hat (no reason to). The same is true for Canonical, which is just totally misguided (sometimes it promotes Windows instead of Ubuntu). What’s curious is the response one gets from their employees; the latest method seems to be misusing and misapplying the “conspiracy theory” label. By the time this thing they dismiss as “conspiracy theory” is proven to be a potent threat it’ll be too late to do something about it. And it was never “conspiracy theory” either way; it’s factual. There’s evidence to show it.

Techrights hopes that “conspiracy theory” isn’t the latest ploy or the broad brush with which to paint those who call out abusers. Because they would certainly distract from truly damaging (and false) conspiracy theories — like those which associate viruses with radio transmissions.

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2 Comments

  1. Canta said,

    June 9, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Gravatar

    1) Thank you.

    2) Once again, this kind of posts feels like a book should be made about the issues it speaks of. Last time my idea was “a book about the whole EPO thing”. In this case it’s something more close to “a book about boycottnovell and techrights”.

    3) Your… “surprise”? regarding the conspiracy theory thing, and specially about Canonical employees, made me want to tell you this other thing, added up to the book comment.
    There’s generational change. It’s a thing; it objectively happens. It’s common knowledge in arts fields, where some value parameters for different art works are related to the public/consummer: which is not the same through history, and thus works does not have the same value. But is equally common knowledge in Politics (where there’s stuff like “public oppinion”, which changes in time), and in basically anything that has a history.

    Well.. Free Software Movement do has a history by now. Old champions get older by the day, new problems arise, old enemies adapt, and so people struggle to go on. History implies phenomenons like ideologies, conservatisms, futurisms, innovationisms, vanguardisms, and so many others. This isn’t the 2000′s anymore, the same way it isn’t the nineties. A whole new generation is here making their stuff with the tools previous generations let there, and if there’s something remotely regarding as a “virtue” in corporate culture is that it never stops adapting.

    I say all of it is a huge part in why FSM seems so be losing so many fights this days. But let me tell you: there will be new generations to come, with new champions for Freedom too. And when that people come, previous generations must provide the tools for them to continue the work. We should learn from what’s happening now, and do something not only for ourselves but also for the ones coming later.

    With all that preamble, I find what Techrights does in terms of information absolutely crucial. Dissinformation is a rule in our age, and so works like this may and could be a beacon in that sea. And so I worry this information may be too disperse in separate posts, too googling-dependant, too easily censorable from social networks. Books, and old tech with both problems and strenghts, may be both a solid addenum to this site’s work, and a tool for future generations that will have to deal with their own history.

    So, I believe compiled texts about how Techrights endured, how Microsoft never changed, who are the usual enemies of freedom, what do they do to people and society, what happened to our champions and when/why, what did the press do, and so on, may be of huge value for future generations, as well as may give all that information another way of reaching actual/current people.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    1) Thank you.

    Glad you found it useful (and are still sincere also when you disagree).

    2) Once again, this kind of posts feels like a book should be made about the issues it speaks of. Last time my idea was “a book about the whole EPO thing”. In this case it’s something more close to “a book about boycottnovell and techrights”.

    There may be a book on the way regarding UPC. I spoke about it with somebody only minutes ago. They want me to do some chapters.

    I say all of it is a huge part in why FSM seems so be losing so many fights this days. But let me tell you: there will be new generations to come, with new champions for Freedom too. And when that people come, previous generations must provide the tools for them to continue the work. We should learn from what’s happening now, and do something not only for ourselves but also for the ones coming later.

    FSM was worse off in the 1980s. We made many gains. We just want to keep them.

    With all that preamble, I find what Techrights does in terms of information absolutely crucial. Dissinformation is a rule in our age, and so works like this may and could be a beacon in that sea. And so I worry this information may be too disperse in separate posts, too googling-dependant, too easily censorable from social networks. Books, and old tech with both problems and strenghts, may be both a solid addenum to this site’s work, and a tool for future generations that will have to deal with their own history.

    ebooks are no more accessible than blogs.

    And physical books have price as barrier.

    At the moment I am working with someone on making archives of the site and maybe BitTorrent.

    So, I believe compiled texts about how Techrights endured, how Microsoft never changed, who are the usual enemies of freedom, what do they do to people and society, what happened to our champions and when/why, what did the press do, and so on, may be of huge value for future generations, as well as may give all that information another way of reaching actual/current people.

    We’re working on contingencies for preservation.

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