Summary: Why Monsanto is a symptom of the world’s power/control being put in few private hands, notably Gates and his friends who invest in Monsanto and publicly lobby for it
Bill Gates, who uses the Gates Foundation for gains in money and power, is not a villain because he made an extra 7 billion dollars last year (while everyone in the world seems to be going broke), becoming the world's richest person again. It is because of how he makes money. By buying our media he lies about it constantly and continues investing (for profit) in some of the companies most harmful to humanity while also lobbying for them, directly or indirectly (e.g. through proxies like AGRA for GMO).
“Then there is GMO promotion; giving people patented pesticides/seeds is hardly “feeding the hungry” or doing charity.”Gates has been lobbying almost exclusively for his investments, using the disguise of “charity”. Let’s consider that he exploits the world’s poorest for marketing and experimentation. Take Africa for example. Gates has investments in the leaky oil industry there (for profit) which is actually responsible for poisoning and killing many Nigerians, sometimes indirectly (even causing polio, as opposed to fighting polio as Gates likes to claim in the Nigerian press that he buys).
Then there is GMO promotion; giving people patented pesticides/seeds is hardly “feeding the hungry” or doing charity. It is feeding Gates, a Monsanto shareholder. Days ago we all witnessed an international day of action against Monsanto. It received a lot of coverage, raising awareness and having a strong effect in alternative media; owing to the action being global (436 cities by some counts) the non-US government press covered it also. The US government actually lobbies for Monsanto based on cables from Wikileaks. The BBC, our own government press, was the same. The BBC Web site, a pro-GMO publication funded by Bill Gates, seems to have ignored the protests and Bloomberg, owned by the billionaire who loves to protect bankers from protesters, did the same for Monsanto. Going back to Monsanto in Africa, the subject was already explored here, in posts such as:
A few months ago Bill Gates invested $25 Million in “Controversial GM Crop Center”. Mind the term investment, that’s the simple fact. It’s far from the only such example. The report says: “The research center largely responsible for launching the “green revolution” of the 1960s that dramatically raised crop yields is getting support from the world’s richest men to develop genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of a changing climatic conditions and increased demand.”
“It is an investment, not a charity.”There is no proper coverage of this in Africa. Gates already gagged the press there. It was not expensive to achieve, either. A Gates-bribed site (millions of dollars in bribe in exchange for favourable coverage and self-censorship) claims to be Africa’s leading news source (with investment from Gates) and one of its latest articles on GMO reads like a press release while health-washing a Gates investment (no disclosure there about Gates funding the site). The actual news is, Gates is selling debt to poor Africans, along with the controversial World Bank, a Gates partner [1, 2]. It says: “The International Finance Corporation, IFC, said on Tuesday that it is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Department for International Development to invest about $60 million (about N9.42billion) to help boost the coverage of priority health technologies and intervention services that benefit over one million poor Nigerians.”
It is an investment, not a charity. They want this money back with interest. Here are some new PR photos from the corporate press (yes, smile for the camera with black children, it’s good for your investments, Bill).
“In a way, Monsanto is a symptom of society being controlled by greedy plutocratic monopolists who control our media and politicians.”Hailed as a visionary by the Microsoft-affiliated sites (MSNBC) which print everything Gates says, Gates keeps lobbying in areas he does not grok. Gates grew up ultra-rich, he does not understand poverty. It’s not just him though. How perverse it must be for the world’s richest woman to speak ‘for’ the world’s poorest as seen here. It’s insane. “Melinda Gates stands before 5,000 Duke University graduates,” says this article. What is her achievement in education, other than marrying a college dropout who made money breaking the law? Money buys keynotes, still, allowing lobbying to take place even in graduation ceremonies. Such situations help lobbying in education (Gates wants privatisation) with inexpensive personal-themed stories planted in educational press.
If the world is looking for the enemy, Monsanto may not be it. In a way, Monsanto is a symptom of society being controlled by greedy plutocratic monopolists who control our media and politicians. They also control a vast proportion of the world’s wealth, owing in part to taxes like mortgages, inflation, and patent royalties imposed by the likes or Monsanto. █
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Summary: Microsoft colludes with dubious officials in order to pass a lot of public money to crooks who habitually misuse their power over code
The Egyptians seem to have learned from their neighbour Tunisia [1, 2, 3] and given that Microsoft and Gates Foundation actively work to occupy Egypt they should keep their eyes open. This week they rise up against a Microsoft deal that discriminates against software fostered by local developers for autonomy and freedom. To quote one report:
A group of organisations, companies and high-profile individuals have released a statement calling for a protest on Sunday in front of the Cabinet in Cairo, in response to a recent government decision to purchase Microsoft software licenses and products to upgrade government agencies. Under the name Open Egypt, the signees demand the government re-evaluate their deal.
At a cost of more than 43 million dollars, activists such as Abdel Rahman Mansour from the We are all Khaled Sayeed and human rights’ organisations such as the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights say it is a waste of money, considering the availability of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and Egypt’s current economic state.
Indeed, the use of FOSS is seen as the more strategic option, as it allows the government to invest that money elsewhere and with the added benefit of utilising existing FOSS software already operating in many agencies.
So the rule by puppets may remain after Mubarak was toppled. The North Americans can control Egypt through software, just as Vodafone did through networks. Here is another article on this matter:
Egypt: The People Demand Free and Open Source Software
Things did not stop here, but members of the Open Source community in Egypt called for a silent demonstration in front of the cabinet of ministers on the 30th of December. Other demonstrations are also being arranged in different parts of Egypt. And the hashtag #OpenEgypt is now being used to introduce people to Open Source Software, and their benefits.
We covered many such stories from different nations in prior years. The plot always repeated itself and rarely did we see the public rising up in opposition. So well done, people of Egypt, fight the good fight and show the rest of the world how it’s done. One reader sent us this link (Arabic with translation) an hour ago. It seems like the protests are paying off! █
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Summary: The latest FUD from Microsoft and some of those who attack Free software
Professor Moglen wrote about the case of a parasite versus Red Hat, noting that GPL violation is now being alleged by Red Hat: “Twin Peaks Software, Inc., which makes proprietary data replication and cloud storage software, sued Red Hat and its subsidiary Gluster for patent infringement back in February. Last week, Red Hat filed a counterclaim in that litigation, alleging copyright infringement by Twin Peaks in misappropriating GPL’d software.
“Red Hat’s counterclaim asserts that Twin Peaks has copied GPL’d code, from mount, into their proprietary mount.mfs utility, which is distributed to licensees of their data replication products. Red Hat holds copyright on most of the code in the relevant version of mount, which is part of the util-linux package.”
As put by another site, “Red Hat Says Twin Peaks In GPL Violation, Seeks Injunction”. As a reminder, it is copyright law that helps enforce the GPL. To quote the article: “If you remember, Red Hat was sued by a company called Twin Peaks over patent infringement. In its lawsuit filed in March 2012, Twin Peaks alleged that Red Hat and its newly acquired subsidiary Gluster infringed upon its U.S. Patent 7,418,439 Mirror file system. The patent was filed in 2001 and issued in 2008. According to the patent description, A mirror file systems (MFS) is a virtual file system that links two or more file systems together and mirrors between them in real time. Twin Peaks seek injunctions and damages for the alleged patents.”
So it is clear that the GPL finds copyright law a necessity, not wholly a nuisance. In that case, why does Microsoft continue to abuse the population of Kenya [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] by showering it with lies? Here is the latest lie: “Information Technology firms are warning of increased cyber-attack should the Government move to ditch copyrighted software.
“We expect Microsoft to play dirty and to lie as it always does in Kenya, based on what we saw.”The headline says “State warned on ditching copyrighted software”. To quote further: “Last week, the Government issued a warning that in the next three years it will move its IT operations to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), a move that will reduce cost by more than half in IT expenses.
“Microsoft said the move is risky and bound to make Government systems more vulnerable to hackers.
““We agree with the open standards but not the free and open source software strategy,” said Paul Roy Owino, technology advisor, Microsoft East and Southern Africa.”
We expect Microsoft to play dirty and to lie as it always does in Kenya, based on what we saw. █
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Summary: Update on Gates in Africa (bringing corporations to the black continent) and a call for help
OUR Gates-watching efforts (see Gates Foundation Critique) have suffered from the lack of time dedicated to them. Priorities changed somewhat. For the uninitiated, Gates is a missionary who instead of spreading monotheistic religions is spreading the culture of greed and exploits population under the guise of “sacred works”. Here is a good new article about it (sent by a reader):
Another missionary in Africa: the Bill Gates myth
Bill Gates is a walking talking Bill Gates commercial. It matters not that he retired from Microsoft. The Bill Gates image is still very serious business. Arguably his most famous quote is “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” He dresses the part: very casual with the preppy uniform of khakis and blue. His prepiness and nerdiness follow from his prep school background. But not too many nerds drop out of college, as Gates did. College is the place to find nerds; that’s where nerds get their revenge. Gates constructed the Microsoft company environment like a college campus. It’s part of the myth of that gentle, coed, carefree, nurturing, professorial and now the giving, philanthropist Bill Gates. It’s all very disarming.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) leads the push to bring nutrition and health to Africa. But this move requires some scrutiny and a determination as to whether this is another image builder or worse: an attack by a modern day missionary on another unsuspecting indigenous population. Yes, some Africans are an indigenous population too.
CMD/PR Watch used to do a lot of watching of rogue foundations including Gates’. But they too seem to have lost this sort of focus and even their new coverage of Monsanto and others in Africa is just very limited and brief. To quote:
How the US Sold Africa to Multinationals like Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, PepsiCo and Others
Driving through Ngong Hills, not far from Nairobi, Kenya, the corn on one side of the road is stunted and diseased. The farmer will not harvest a crop this year. On the other side of the road, the farmer gave up growing corn and erected a greenhouse, probably for growing a high-value crop like tomatoes. Though it’s an expensive investment, agriculture consultants now recommend them. Just up the road, at a home run by Kenya Children of Hope, an organization that helps rehabilitate street children and reunite them with their families, one finds another failed corn crop and another greenhouse. The director, Charity, is frustrated because the two acres must feed the rescued children and earn money for the organization. After two tomato crops failed in the new greenhouse, her consultant recommended using a banned, toxic pesticide called carbofuran.
Gates is behind some of this, but it is not being discussed above.
Those who are interested in helping our Gates-watching efforts will hopefully get in touch. We could use more contributions. Gates has a lot to do with the patents culture that we challenge. Patents are monopolies protected by patent laws. Companies like Monsanto heavily depend on those. █
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Summary: The crackdowns on counterfeiting in at least one African nation help the adoption of Free/open source software
WHENEVER we hear about Kenya [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] we tend to hear about corporate corruption and other misuses of positions of power. The counterfeiting wars are mentioned quite frequently too because the pirates from Microsoft and its front groups (such as the BSA) raid local businesses, sparking adoption of Free/open source software, which Microsoft in turn attacks in a variety of nefarious ways. To quote a new report:
Kenyans are turning to open source software, which are freely available to the public, after the fight against piracy was stepped up in the East African nation.
Microsoft East and Southern Africa and Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) have in the past months intensified war on pirated software, raiding several businesses suspected to be dealing in unlicensed software, confiscating computers and instituting legal action against offenders.
This is a good and very new example of why counterfeiting is actually beneficial to Microsoft. The report contains some common mistakes and myths, but it’s still worth reading. █
“Microsoft boss Bill Gates threatened to kill 800 Danish jobs if Denmark opposed the European Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, reports today’s Danish financial daily Børsen, quoted by NoSoftwarePatents.com”
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Summary: More cables from South Africa and new information that they provide
Frost and Sullivan, a familiar source of anti-FOSS, pro-Microsoft FUD, brings back memories of South Africa's interesting podcast where experts claimed that Microsoft buddies did a lot of work to derail the government’s migration to Free software. According to the following Cablegate cable, the FUD from Frost and Sullivan is bordering the ridiculous. To them, Internet speed if an impediment of Free software development. What utter crock. From the Cablegate cable: “High cost of internet access is stifling South Africa’s software development industry and thwarting the SAG’s open source procurement policy and commitment to use locally developed software. According to Linda McDonald, an analyst for Frost and Sullivan, the SAG’s plan to save million of rands yearly by cutting out annual software license fees, boost local skills and create more jobs as developers are hired to modify open source software to suit the government’s needs, is a false hope unless the cost of Internet access drops. Unless developers can spend numerous hours in online discussions at an affordable rate, they will not be able to create the necessary programs for the SAG’s software. (Business Day, September 25, 2007)”
What utter nonsense. So accessing forums is the impediment for Free software implementation and the primary cost constraint? This sounds so made up that one might consider it a hoax. A sceptic might ask, how can we know she was not sincere? Well, there is an implicit suggestion there that Free software needs a lot of querying (as though proprietary software needs none), that online forums/E-mail are bandwidth intensive, and that the country is not talented enough for the task (Microsoft used the same insulting talking points and it backfired). So if Linda McDonald was honest, she should probably be fired. But we gave examples of some other Microsoft proxies (like Computing Technology Industry Association) that did similar things to have South Africa abandon its ODF and FOSS plans. It’s like a cult assault. Here is another cable from the same nation. From ¶3: “One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a nonprofit initiative launched by MIT Media Labs’ Nicholas Negroponte to donate low-cost and rugged notebook computers to poor children of the third world. (For details see http://laptop.org and http://wiki.laptop.org.) The resulting “XO” machine is designed for kids: smaller and lighter than regular PCs, with a waterproof keyboard sized to small fingers, and a carrying handle. Its bright colors prompt comparison to Fischer- Price toys. The XO’s screen resolution is sharp, however, and it comes loaded with an open-source operating system and software ranging from a web browser to e-book reader and puzzle games, as well as applications for word processing, drawing, and composing music. A built-in video camera and wireless modem enable video chat with other users.”
Here is another interesting cable from South Africa. The two newer ones (to us) are:
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Summary: How US diplomats view negotiations whose goal is to legitimise monopolies in countries that have no interest in these
According to the following year-old cable, specifically in ¶5, “Member States negotiated informally a compromise work program that ensured balanced and focused work for the SCP [Standing Committee on the Law of Patents]. The proposed work program included: 1. further study on technology transfer concerning the relationship of patent technology transfer and innovation; 2. work on limitations and exceptions that included the external expert study and Brazil’s work program proposal; 3. patent administration issues that included work on patent quality management and further work on dissemination of patent information that looked at digitization issues and access to complete patent information; 4. further work on client-attorney privilege to solicit Member State input on national experiences; 5. future conference on public health and food security issues; and 6. reaffirming that the non-exhaustive list of issues for possible discussion by the SCP remain open for further elaboration at the next meeting, but agreeing that Member States would refrain from adding on to the list at this session, so as to ensure that work on the existing studies could be more focused. These items were truly a compromise text, particularly for Group B, as our primary objective to discuss patent harmonization issues was not part of this list and many of the items had more of a developing country interest/slant. On day one of our conversation concerning future work, we reached agreement among Group B countries, GRULAC, Eastern European countries, Singapore, Korea, the regional coordinator of Africa, Angola.”
They are trying to convince developing countries to give up and accept a system which harms them greatly. With our emphasis on the relevant parts, ¶7 carries on by noting that “While Group B and the U.S. were disappointed that the agreement reached the day before did not satisfy all of the Africa Group and the Asia Group, we were willing to negotiate further from our compromise text. However, it became clear that the Africa Group and some Asian Group countries were not willing to move from their position. Group B in particular was willing to add on to the non exhaustive list with the inclusion of “work sharing” and the “strategic use of IP in business” as proposed by the Group of Eastern European Countries. Despite developing countries’ insistence that the non exhaustive list remain open, Indonesia and India opposed the Group B suggestion of “work sharing”, arguing that it was duplicative of work at the PCT working group and that it was patent harmonization-related and therefore not welcomed by developing countries. Further, even though Group B reminded these countries that their proposed suggestions on the list were duplicative of work occurring in the Committee on Development and IP (CDIP), Egypt’s response was that development agenda work in CDIP was a cross-cutting issue throughout the Organization, and therefore duplication was needed.”
Here is the cable in full:
DE RUEHGV #0136/01 0491710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181701Z FEB 10
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0238
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGV/USMISSION USTR GENEVA
UNCLAS GENEVA 000136
STATE FOR EEB/IPC, IO/HS, OES
COMMERCE FOR USPTO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions],
KIPR [Intellectual Property Rights],
WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organization]
SUBJECT: Fourteenth Session of the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law
¶1. The World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing
Committee on the Law of Patents (WIPO SCP) continued to discuss
preliminary studies requested by the SCP in June 2008 and March
2009, and commenced a discussion on Brazil's proposal concerning
exceptions and limitations to patent rights. However, an impasse
resulted at the SCP on the future work of the committee. As a
result, the agenda from this session will be used for the next
meeting in October 2010. During two days worth of negotiations on
the future work topic, it became clear that Member States fail to
see eye to eye on the international patent system itself, as some
view the system to be a threat to development and oppose any global
efforts - whether normative or cooperative technical assistance
work -- in improving the patent system. END SUMMARY.
¶2. The WIPO SCP met from January 25-29, 2010. Delegations from 103
countries, 10 international organizations and 28 non-governmental
organizations participated in the Committee which was chaired by
Mr. Maximiliano Santa Cruz from Chile. The United States
delegation was represented by USPTO External Affairs Administrator
Arti Rai, Charles Eloshway of USPTO, Janet Speck, Deputy Director,
State Department and Deborah Lashley-Johnson, IP Attach???? at the
U.S. Mission to the UN.
¶3. Discussions were based on preliminary studies written by the
International Bureau at WIPO concerning the relationship of
standards and patents, client-attorney privilege, dissemination of
patent information, transfer of technology, and opposition systems.
Many delegations stated that these documents constituted a good
basis for discussions, and requested further clarifications on
various issues contained in the documents. However, certain
statements made by developing countries and NGO were worrisome,
such as: equating work on the client-attorney disclosure problem to
patent law harmonization work; viewing the topic of dissemination
of patent information to include the disclosure of proprietary
information and trade secrets; and stating that a study should
include how the patent system hinders technology transfer.
¶4. The topic of limitations and exceptions was also discussed,
although the external experts' study was not available for this
meeting. A proposal in respect of exceptions and limitations to
patent rights was submitted by the Delegation of Brazil, which
received support by many developing countries. The proposal has
three phases: discussion on national experiences on patent right
exceptions and limitations; focus work on exceptions and
limitations that help to address developmental concerns; and the
development of an exceptions and limitations manual. Other
delegations, such as the U.S., Switzerland and other industrialized
countries expressed concern that they had not received the document
in advance of the meeting, and therefore had insufficient time to
consider the proposal, and expressed a wish to consider the
proposal at the following session in October 2010 when the external
expert study would also be presented. Nonetheless, the U.S. noted
that it was interested in studying the issue more and saw strong
intellectual property rights and enforcement to be consistent with
proper, basic limitations and exceptions.
¶5. Gridlock, however, occurred once the committee moved onto the
topic of future work. Several regional coordinators and interested
Member States negotiated informally a compromise work program that
ensured balanced and focused work for the SCP. The proposed work
program included: 1. further study on technology transfer
concerning the relationship of patent technology transfer and
innovation; 2. work on limitations and exceptions that included the
external expert study and Brazil's work program proposal; 3. patent
administration issues that included work on patent quality
management and further work on dissemination of patent information
that looked at digitization issues and access to complete patent
information; 4. further work on client-attorney privilege to
solicit Member State input on national experiences; 5. future
conference on public health and food security issues; and 6.
reaffirming that the non-exhaustive list of issues for possible
discussion by the SCP remain open for further elaboration at the
next meeting, but agreeing that Member States would refrain from
adding on to the list at this session, so as to ensure that work on
the existing studies could be more focused. These items were truly
a compromise text, particularly for Group B, as our primary
objective to discuss patent harmonization issues was not part of
this list and many of the items had more of a developing country
interest/slant. On day one of our conversation concerning future
work, we reached agreement among Group B countries, GRULAC, Eastern
European countries, Singapore, Korea, the regional coordinator of
¶6. However, on day two, Angola, members of the Africa Group, such
as Egypt and South Africa, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia,
Yemen, Iran and Indonesia, opposed the compromise text. Their
amendments suggested future studies on the negative impacts patents
have on technology transfer and standards, and a new study on
patents and public health. There was also a proposal on the
establishment of a technology transfer commission to focus on the
problems of technology transfer. Their proposal further lacked
balance in their deletion of the only two issues offered by Group B
in the initial compromise proposal concerning patent quality
management and further work on client-attorney privilege. The
counter-proposal also included another large conference on patents
and public policy issues as a follow up to the one held in July
2009. Lastly, they pushed to expand the non-exhaustive list to
include topics such as the impact of the patent system on
developing countries and LDCs, and the relationship of patents and
¶7. While Group B and the U.S. were disappointed that the agreement
reached the day before did not satisfy all of the Africa Group and
the Asia Group, we were willing to negotiate further from our
compromise text. However, it became clear that the Africa Group
and some Asian Group countries were not willing to move from their
position. Group B in particular was willing to add on to the non
exhaustive list with the inclusion of "work sharing" and the
"strategic use of IP in business" as proposed by the Group of
Eastern European Countries. Despite developing countries'
insistence that the non exhaustive list remain open, Indonesia and
India opposed the Group B suggestion of "work sharing", arguing
that it was duplicative of work at the PCT working group and that
it was patent harmonization-related and therefore not welcomed by
developing countries. Further, even though Group B reminded these
countries that their proposed suggestions on the list were
duplicative of work occurring in the Committee on Development and
IP (CDIP), Egypt's response was that development agenda work in
CDIP was a cross-cutting issue throughout the Organization, and
therefore duplication was needed.
¶8. COMMENT: Group B member states expressed deep concern about the
events that transpired at this meeting. Several countries refused
to negotiate from their maximalist positions, which has been a
concern in other committees at WIPO. The inflexibility of
developing country positions will make reaching a compromise on any
SCP work program impossible, particularly when this committee has
had a history of disbanding for three years due to similar
political impasses. Further, it is clear that the development
agenda is the only work these delegations are interested in at the
expense of issues related to patent law that are important to Group
B and their constituents. Targeted demarches to the few countries
that are blocking progress and preventing the SCP to function are
being considered. In addition, Group B will increase its
coordination to advance its agenda on the various issues before the
SCP, such as in the areas of technology transfer, limitation and
exceptions, client-attorney privilege, opposition systems, and
dissemination of patent information. END COMMENT.
Next, we are going to look at some EU positions on the subject. █
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Summary: A good demonstration of how Microsoft and Gates manage to manage governments by proxy
According to the following Cablegate cable, the Ministry of Investment (MOI) in Egypt is not quite working on its own. “On behalf of MOI,” says ¶6, “Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates launched a website, www.investment.gov.eg in January 2005, to serve as Egypt’s investment portal.”
Since when does Bill govern Egypt or run its economy? There is a lot of other interesting stuff in the cables below, but it is probably of most interest to Egyptians who wish to understand how Mubarak’s regime has harmed them by giving control to imperialists who export weapons (at taxpayers’ expense).
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