03.29.10

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Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft’s Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Standard at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European countries map

Summary: Microsoft’s continued attempts to remove Free software and standards from Europe’s agenda sure call for action

A FEW days ago we quoted David Hammerstein as saying that Microsoft had a “coup in process” against EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Glyn Moody discussed this with Hammerstein and called for European citizens to file complaints about Microsoft’s improper abuse of power via front groups. [more in BoingBoing]

Open source is under attack in Europe. Not openly or obviously, but in the background, behind closed doors. The battleground is the imminent Digital Agenda for Europe, due to be unveiled by the European Commission in a month’s time, and which defines the overall framework for Europe’s digital policy. According to people with good contacts to the politicians and bureaucrats drawing up the Agenda, Microsoft is lobbying hard to ensure that open standards and open source are excluded from that policy – and is on the brink of succeeding in that aim.

[...]

That’s clearly very positive about open standards and open source. And then, back in November of last year, a draft version of the revised EIF was leaked [.pdf]. It revealed a staggering re-definition of what openness meant by suggesting that “closed” was part of the “openness continuum”…

[...]

The extraordinary gulf between the original and proposed versions of the EIF gives us perhaps a hint of what is going on behind the scenes, but on its own might not be sufficient grounds for concern about the Digital Agenda itself. But last week a series of worrying tweets were posted by David Hammerstein, whose Twitter bio is “European Advocate for Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue. Spanish Green Member European Parliament 2004-2009”. They read as follows:

SOS to everyone as sources confirm that Kroes is about to eliminate “open standards” policy from EU digital agenda

Kroes has been under intense lobbying pressure from Microsoft to get rid of interoperability and open source goals of EU

Kroes wanted the EU institutions to practice what it preaches and migrate to open standards in its own software. Big backlash

DG enterprise and “revolving door” EC officials from Microsoft torpedo Commissioner Kroes open proposals. Coup in process.

As to those “sources” he mentions, I’ve been following Hammerstein for a while on Twitter, and he does seem to have very good contacts within the European Union machine – doubtless from his time as an MEP. Moreover, the French site PC Inpact not only confirms Hammerstein’s fears, but it has also managed to get hold of a copy of the draft Agenda.

I have sent several E-mails and hereby encourage European readers to do the same. I said that it had “come to my attention through former MP David Hammerstein that [...] I would like to ask and hopefully receive reassurance that the EIF retains its original goals of emphasising standards. I have been covering quite extensively the lobbying done to subvert Kroes’ work and I wish to see it not suppressing the European software industry, of which I am a part.”

Here is what the FSFE had to say on the subject [via].

More on EIFv2:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  9. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  10. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  11. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  12. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up
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