06.20.08

Microsoft as Your Knowledge Base of GPLv3, Master of Document Licences?

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft wants FOSS authority

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3
“Move over, Perens and Stallman.
Former Softies Know the GPLv3 better than you do.” (Sarcasm)

For background, you are advised to read the following very recent posts:

Michael TiemannIt increasingly seems like Microsoft gains great influence inside the open source universe. It does not work for the better and Michael Tiemann (shown on the right) expressed his concerns about OpenLogic just a few days ago.

Dana Blankenhorn, just like Glyn Moody, draws his conclusion about GPLv3 (as posted in his blog) based on the word of a former Microsoft employee: Black Duck. Blankenhorn pessimistically concludes with the headline: “GPL divide still lives, one year on”. Didn’t we hear a similar tune in ACT’s response to Boycott Novell just a few days ago? ACT is a Microsoft pressure group that viciously battled GPLv3. It bothered to speak back to this Web site. How come?

Moving on (or back again) to OpenLogic, here are some interesting insights from Don Marti.

But people don’t run popularity contest applications on production machines. So, as much commentary as the OMG WTF M$ WANTS YOUR INSTALLED SOFTWARE LIST thread has gotten, it looks like a waste of the company’s money.

Elsewhere, over at Groklaw, PJ is referring to this article which we mentioned yesterday. About GPL exclusion from the OOXML OSP she writes: “They [Microsoft] do not intend to provide assurance to GPL programmers. “A broad audience of developers” isn’t everyone. That would be their number one competition, of course, since GNU/Linux comes with the GPL license. And the GPL is by far the dominant FOSS license. So I guess one must ask, how do you define “broad”, Microsoft? And why is it acceptable to disenfranchise anyone from being able to use a standard?

This hopefully demonstrates just how GPL-hostile Microsoft really is. Speaking of Microsoft, we are still studying what on earth is happening in oiic-formation-discuss. We wrote about some findings yesterday and reached a dead end pretty much. Latest reports from a reader of ours who investigates this:



http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_g0w5wj

Year Started:1995

ok so this company was started in 1995. by Olivia Edwards

[...]

http://msnmoney.brand.edgar-online.com/EFX_dll/ED...

Because both Cisco and Microsoft are key strategic partners of
TransNet, and we have successful practices with both, including an
established and loyal base of customers in both markets,

[...]

http://www.secinfo.com/dRsft.aa.htm

well cant get any link...

this is a old battle with gary edward.

http://consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20071109070012244

nothing turned up on Olivia Edwards - atleast on the internet.


What we found a few hours ago is the following interesting response to Marbux though. He was told off for sort of ‘bullying’ in the ODF mailing lists, causing unnecessary disruption to some who complained.



Let me make his point shorter for him:  he doesn't want this project to 
go forward so fast.  He'd like it to slow down. Why ever might that be?

"1. An immediate moratorium be declared on  further decisions in regard
 > to the work product of this formation group while the chair conducts a
 > discussion of short-term steps to improve the situation.;"

Etc. Set up committees. Discuss process. Anything to slow this down.

  There is, I hope, an outside limit to how much he will be allowed to 
disrupt and block progress, because that is how I view it.

I suggest that there be some rule about threats of lawsuits being 
grounds for exclusion from the discussion. I'd like a rule folks are not 
allowed to insult and demean other people either, but that's probably 
too much to hope for.

Some of us have been around this track before.


Make sure you are subscribed or engaged in one form or another if you want to see some chaos. There are already some eyeballs on this.

We received some jaw-dropping information a few hours ago, but the extent to which is can be shared needs to be discussed. Stay tuned.

Protests in Norway (OOXML)

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6 Comments

  1. Glyn Moody said,

    June 20, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Gravatar

    Er, actually, my headline “Whatever Happened to the GNU GPLv3?” was somewhat tongue in cheek: I meant to suggest that despite the dire warnings of a year ago, things were trucking along quite well…

    That will teach me not to use subtlety in blog posts….

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Gravatar

    Glyn,

    Yes, I know, I saw that (and wrote about it yesterday). But the observation is that people are basing their judgment on one particular company that I do not think is worth trusting (and not just because it’s a tracker/scanner where the business model is purely proprietary, but also because of relations).

  3. Glyn Moody said,

    June 20, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Although I’m a big fan of scepticism, I don’t the numbers in this case are problematic. After all, it would be easy to check, and the company’s going to look pretty stupid if it’s caught out.

    Certainly, though, it would be good to have a community effort counting the licence usage – and presumably not that hard to set up.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Although I’m a big fan of scepticism, I don’t the numbers in this case are problematic. After all, it would be easy to check, and the company’s going to look pretty stupid if it’s caught out.

    I’m not trying to cause trouble, but I look ahead and I also look at previous incidents that revolve around Black Duck. I wrote about a few of them in previous posts.

    Certainly, though, it would be good to have a community effort counting the licence usage – and presumably not that hard to set up.

    I presume you missed the story about Black Duck stealing ‘their’ database from Palamida. ;-)

    Remember that some people really really wanted to characterise the MySQL, Trolltech and XenSource acquisitions as a good thing. We must always look ahead. I’m going to write an important post over the weekend. It’s the GPL that’s under attack, and not just by Microsoft and Novell. GPLv3 is just a natural persistence, but some prefer to curtail it because of the loopholes.

  5. Glyn Moody said,

    June 20, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, Black Duck deny that:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9804708-16.html

    It’s hard for outsiders to tell who’s doing what; the important thing is to observe and judge on their continuing actions.

    I look forward to your post…

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 20, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Gravatar

    > http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9804708-16.html

    Ah! Thanks for the pointer. It’s pretty much as I remember it, but I saw some different blogs where Black Duck tried to defend itself. It sounded different when you heard Palamida’s side.

    About that future post, there is much I cannot tell in public, but I’ll see what’s safe to disclose. There’s already some material I’ve had queued up for a year. It’s too risky. Not everything I am told I’m allowed to share without hurting someone.

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