10.30.07

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Has Already Hijacked (to Kill) Open Source

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, OSI, Patents at 10:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How could Novell, the OSI, the ISO, and the EC be so naive or blind?

In respond to this excellent new analysis it is worth pointing out that Microsoft already has hijacked “open source”. It’s just unfortunate that many developers and CIOs are unable to see this. Here are some fragments of interest (the article as a whole is a highly-recommended reading).

What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft’s behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above, an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its participants” – and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ.

In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it’s Microsoft would damage the open source process – I also believe it’s going to prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who thought they understood what open source meant.

[...]

What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the real state of affairs quite clear. If we don’t, then core concepts like “open source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness.

Rough reality, but it’s all very true. If you want to see a blunt response (parts with strong language are intentionally omitted), then look here.

Without explicitly saying that Microsoft does hold software patents applicable in the E.U., by allowing (the raison d’être of) and accepting the one-off payment of EUR 10,000 “to be paid by companies that dispute the validity or relevance of Microsoft’s patents”, the European Commission implicitly endorses Microsoft’s claims of having the “interoperability information” covered by software patents!

UNBELIEVABLE.

This is very troubling indeed. We have covered issues associated with these patents in Europe endlessly for the past fortnight [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Everything that we cover here, from document formats (ISO) to open source (OSI) and Linux (Novell et al), is very interconnected and the issues intersect with one another. They are inseparable. Antitrust litigation and procurement is where they make a lot of impact. Attempts to ‘hijack’ open source companies and Linux companies would be hard to stop, but the GPLv3 helps here. Do read the new analysis if you haven’t because it is very eye opening.

Remind yourself that Microsoft is now in the business of extinguishing Free software and Linux. Do not be misled. By further diluting the meaning of “open source”, Microsoft can kill Free software, as well as the true value of open source software. It is not bound to happen because it is happening already, but some people just cannot see it.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

2 Comments

  1. Béranger said,

    October 31, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Gravatar

    What are the “parts with strong language”?

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 31, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Nice to find you here, Béranger. The words about Neelie Kroes are the “strong language” in this case. I pointed this out elsewhere where I had cited this blog item, which I enjoyed as usual.

    You sometimes say things that other people are too polite to put quite bluntly.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  2. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  3. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  4. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  5. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  7. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  8. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  9. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  10. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down



  11. Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

    Links for the day



  12. Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we've seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already



  13. Unified Patent Court (UPC) 'Delayed' Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

    “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals



  14. Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 04, 2022



  16. Links 04/12/2022: Status of the 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  17. When a Company Simply Refuses to Talk to Technical and Exerienced Staff Through Internal Avenues

    When companies behave like monarchies where staff has no role at all in decision-making and decisions are made in violation of those companies’ tenets (or mission statements) it is inevitable that staff will issue concerns, first internally and — failing that — in other channels



  18. [Meme] Kings Instead of Open Consultation Among Peers

    In Sirius there’s no room for debate, even among half a dozen or so technical colleagues; decisions are made in the dark by a tightly-knit cabal (with rather childish superhero cartoons as their avatars) and then imposed on everybody else (hardly democratic, not sane)



  19. Sirius Open Source: The Home of Stress and Bullying by Management

    Part 3 of a report regarding Sirius Open Source, which is imploding after bad judgement and misuse of power against employees



  20. Links 04/12/2022: Fosshost Shudown and OpenIndiana Hipster 2022.10

    Links for the day



  21. Links 03/12/2022: pgAdmin 4 Version 6.17

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 03, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 03, 2022



  23. Office Manager in Company Without an Office

    Imagine having an “Office Manager” in a company that does not even have an office. Welcome to corporate posturing.



  24. Dishonest Companies Disguised as 'Open Source' (After Abandoning It)

    A deeper look at the way Sirius Open Source presents itself to the public (including prospective and existing clients); This is clearly not the company that I joined nearly 12 years ago



  25. When the Founder of Your Company Supports Donald Trump the Company Ends up Active in Fascist Platforms

    Politics weren’t allowed in Sirius ‘Open Source’, but there were exceptions for some people (close to management) and it didn’t look good



  26. [Meme] Sirius Actually Used to Promote Free/Libre and Open Source Software

    Before people who reject Free/Libre and Open Source software were put in charge of Sirius ‘Open Source’ concrete steps had been taken to support the wider community (or the suppliers, who were mostly volunteers)



  27. Sirius 'Open Source' When It Actually Understood and Respected Software Freedom

    The company my wife and I joined was (at the time) still Free software-centric and reasonably friendly towards staff; today we examine Sirius of a decade ago



  28. Links 03/12/2022: 4MLinux 41, GNOME E-mail System Melting Down

    Links for the day



  29. Links 03/12/2022: KDE Report and Canonical Lying to Staff

    Links for the day



  30. Sirius 'Open Source' Lists 49 Firms/Organisations as Clients But Only 4 of Them Currently Are

    Sirius Open Source is nowhere as popular as it wants people to think


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