04.27.21

The Anti-FSF Petition of GNOME Foundation and OSI Continues Losing Signatures

Posted in FSF, GNOME, OSI at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: There are further removals (diff below, based on the changes made in the past day or so), whereas the support letter keeps growing (albeit slowly)

Individuals

[...]

59d124
< akurushimi
2627d2691
< Seraphim R.P. (Kerygma Digital)

GNOME Foundation and OSI versus FSF
Notice the curve below going down (visibly). Won’t be long before the hate letter has 2,000+ signatures, compared to 6,000+ (or 6,500+) for the response to it.

Creating Parallel ‘Movements’ (Backed by Monopolies) to Marginalise the FSF, GNU, and GPL

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNOME, OSI at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Concern-trolling or sheer opportunism?

Summary: The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a thorn in the side of monopolies and monopolists; can groups funded by monopolisers and run by professional vilifiers do enough damage at the behest of their corporate masters? The video above offers some additional background

THE GPL has long been attacked by proxies and concern trolls like Black Duck (Microsoft-connected) and it has not exactly worked. The GPL is still hugely popular, no matter what firms say based on GitHub data (i.e. based only on what’s controlled by Microsoft’s proprietary software trap). Even recently we saw high-profile examples of defections to the GPL and even AGPL.

Google, IBM, Microsoft and other such firms aren’t happy about this. They work with the GPL where they have no other choice, e.g. the kernel (Linux is GPLv2). It is predicable and we should very much expect attacks on messengers or public faces of the GPL, notably the FSF and its founder, Richard Stallman. It’s the concepts — the ideas to put it another way — that are under attack. They conveniently personify the issues. Never forget that…

It’s not Dr. Stallman himself that the monopolies fear; it’s the things he created, the ideas and his licences in particular…

“They’ll surely be coming back with another sneaky attempt, be it a bigger “cancel mob” or some attempt to override software freedom with buzzwords and catchphrases (like “hey hi” and “ethical”).”The same people slandering the FSF’s founder and blackmailing FSF board members into mothballing the whole thing (yes, canning the FSF by means of abandoning the Board of Directors altogether) also receive money from those very same monopolies. Take SFC for instance. Not only did it lobby the FSF to oust Stallman (both from within and outside the FSF), it’s continuing with a trend of disturbing statements while racking up money from Microsoft and Google. Bradley Kuhn from the SFC was pushed out of the FSF’s Board for a conflict of interest (looking to promote the agenda of the SFC, which he chose over the FSF when he left the Board). The SFC has become in some sense richer (as a funnel of funds) than the FSF, as they hire more people and they’re bringing in millions of dollars to the SFC (only two salaries are being paid as of 2 years ago).

Working for OSI, a force of corporate occupation and a coup, some people went out of their way to attack the very existence of the FSF. Some of these people work partly for Microsoft.

A reader recently pointed out to us various problematic things that she had observed. She wished to share her findings, as she suspects people who cannot code (and never coded anything) basically take over the movement, not for the betterment of freedom but for their selfish agenda funded at least partly by monopolies.

“We will first discuss the principles of digital autonomy,” one recent presentation says, with Google and Amazon logos next to it (see slides/cover). As if listening devices and CCTV inside our homes gives us “digital autonomy”…

This whole “digital autonomy” thing is mostly being promoted by Bully de Blanc. “Digital Autonomy push by bad actors,” according to our reader, should be a cause for concern. “I wanted to mention something of a slight concern,” she said, “last year and must mention to someone. Molly and Karen are pushing digital autonomy.”

Those slides are self-discrediting because of the sponsors.

“Then,” she added, “they spoke at Hope.”

Well, all this “autonomy” thing seems like another attempt to redefine Free Software, as the "ethical source" people do. They try to build and shield some new identity for themselves, just like a group of developers now hijack the acronym/name “GNU”…

Bully de Blanc open coreThe OSI is in this too by the way. The OSI together with the GNOME Foundation try to redefine Free Software and Open Source. They collaborate on this, just like they did on the hate letter.

“Open Source” was having a go at creating a “parallel movement”, seeking to replace the original (Free software) by co-opting the followers, distracting from the real thing, and in turn diluting the message, celebrating openwashing instead of things that completely comply with the seminal definitions.

“Then,” our reader noted, “for this Gnome conference – during the presentation, they [had it] mentioned… previously presented at Hope and Debconf. Using the previous presentations for credibility. [...] Presentation does not equal endorsement…”

They’re basically chaining past ‘credentials’ to make up for lack of skills and experience. This is a very Bully de Blanc ‘thing’. Then, consider which corporations fund this pair of presenters.

I was then made aware by our reader that “recently Karen [Sandler] and [Bradley] Kuhn [of SFC] gave a keynote for an ethics and AI session.”

“Hey hi” (AI) is basically a stupid buzzword, whereas ethics are a broader concept (even Microsoft claims to stand for ethics!), so we’ll see their next step. “Karen,” our reader sighed, “giving a talk about ethics.”

But I don’t have anything like real piece of evidence to suggest she is not ethical. So let’s leave her out of this and focus on Mr. Kuhn instead. As far as we know, Karen Sandler did make some rather problematic statements about Stallman, but that’s nowhere as bad as what Kuhn did.

Bully de Blanc on RMSI managed to convince our reader that Sandler isn’t the problem, though she may be led by sponsors and colleagues with another agenda. “I agree,” she said, that “there is no valid, verified evidence – and, she is a lawyer. However, she seemed to be Free software. Maybe she was at that time. She is the SFC director, and they did have a Microsoft-sponsored event.”

“Anyway,” our reader said, “I have serious concerns… although I can never really figure out the endgame. Do not even know where the digital autonomy push is going… or if it even will continue after all this. One thing I noticed is there are people who jump on fashionable topics, and perpetrate their expertise on the matter. Some are convincing. I don’t really believe Molly is the mastermind or puppetbully… Of course, I have no evidence. Maybe someday!”

In any event, we need to watch out for those things because the above-mentioned people played a role in the anti-FSF coup attempt, both two years ago and last month. They’ll surely be coming back with another sneaky attempt, be it a bigger “cancel mob” or some attempt to override software freedom with buzzwords and catchphrases (like “hey hi” and “ethical”). It would be unwise to overlook the possibility.

04.24.21

OIN’s Deb Nicholson: We Don’t Solve Any Real Issues, Just Like OSI (Where Nicholson is Now Interim General Manager)

Posted in GNU/Linux, ISO, OIN, OSI, Patents, Videos at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OSI board

Microsoft Tim's interview with Neil McGovern

Summary: Before working at OSI, whose sole accomplishment so far is an attack on the FSF, she worked for IBM (et al) front group OIN and SFC, which is another attack group that raises money from Microsoft and then attacks the FSF

“WHY on Earth are you picking on Nicholson???”

One might actually say a foolish thing like this, conveniently ignoring the fact that — putting aside irrelevant gender aspects — Nicholson worked for SFC while SFC was attacking Richard Stallman, lobbying and pressing for his removal. At the same time she brought Microsoft money to the SFC for two years in a row, then moved to the flailing OSI, where only months later she and her colleagues started a campaign of defamation against Stallman and an extended campaign to undermine the FSF (using ‘guilt’ by association tactics).

“At the same time she brought Microsoft money to the SFC for two years in a row, then moved to the flailing OSI, where only months later she and her colleagues started a campaign of defamation against Stallman and an extended campaign to undermine the FSF (using ‘guilt’ by association tactics).”The hate letter’s perpetrators actually plotted to redefine Free software and make proprietary software seem "OK" only 1.5 months before they found an excuse to start a vicious attack, helped by media that’s funded by proprietary software giants.

Looking back, there’s a track record of bad deeds. Nicholson’s bosses at SFC — like herself — were given an award a month ago. Can’t they recognise the self-harm they’re doing? De Raadt, Miguel de Icaza, Garrett, Nicholson, Kuhn…

What on Earth is going on and who stands to benefit?

Prior to the stints at the SFC and OSI there was a stint at the Open Invention Network (OIN).

“They clearly do nothing to tackle software patents or patent trolls and they mostly protect monopolies, just like OSI ‘minionry’ does these days.”The totally useless OIN, which we’ve criticised for quite some time (the short story is, they seek to undermine true patent reform and distract from opponents of software patents, instead working to legitimise such patents), is no good. GNU developers we’ve spoken to are saying the same. Some GNU/Linux developers who are threatened by patent trolls also receive no help from OIN. We did a series about this last month.

In the following video, which is rather old by now, we have an almost open (or frank) admission that OIN is of no real use to software developers. It’s for monopolies that cross-licence.

To quote from the video: “You wouldn’t be able to sue IBM for it…”

They clearly do nothing to tackle software patents or patent trolls and they mostly protect monopolies, just like OSI ‘minionry’ does these days. The portion below (Fair Use) is 4:00-5:20 from the full video.

Video download link

Notice how the questions aren’t even being answered (or not properly anyway) until pressed further and further. Roblimo died years ago and I still feel deep sadness over it (I shed tears, too), as he was always nice to me and wanted to hear my side of the story, especially on things which truly mattered (he also put me in the radio 14 years ago when he worked for Slashdot and we debated OOXML).

04.21.21

Overt Abuse and Mischaracterisations by Bully de Blanc

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, OSI at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue hair is not a substitute for skills and experience

Blue hair, Bully de Blanc
This screenshot is real and it is a real account, not a prank

Summary: The campaign to ruin the FSF and silence its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), goes months prior to the hate letter set up by Bully de Blanc, her boss, and the Microsoft-sponsored OSI; they just attack the licence (GPL/copyleft) and they try to redefine things for the corporations which fund them

A reader of ours recently wanted to add some more information on Molly de Blanc, whom we dubbed “Bully de Blanc” last month because of the bullying (some people have since then copied the name; MinceR says “Bully the blanc” or “the blank”).

“Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF’s Board.”When someone engages in character assassination (based on deliberate distortion, libel, and a gish gallop of falsehoods), he or she should not be shocked to find online criticism of him or her. This is why when it comes to Bully de Blanc we’ve shown no particular remorse; we objectively explained what we had observed. Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF's Board. So they must have waited for an excuse or a “trigger” event.

This post contains a polite, calm, and fact-checked interpretation. It will also quote, anonymously, some people who read this site and have researched the matter themselves.

“I have noticed your video here,” one reader noted. “Please put attention here on [the] official Molly de Blanc profile” (in Debian.org).

“As where she tries to be “Debian developer” but it most probably is over,” the reader said, “as status is “Closed”. That is contradictory information and false representation which in the end is also illegal act. She is stating there to be “I also work at the FSF, and serve on the Open Source Initiative board of directions.” — whereby I do not think she is now at FSF — please verify and use your connections to remove that profile, or archive it. This page says she is not on the board. Maybe she was on both boards, but it is very obvious that she has no clear policy neither on “Open Source” [nor] on FSF, she is image maker. As a conclusion, I wish to point out to a pattern of false representations by Molly de Blanc. I think that it would be worth putting it into the timeline, as I have seen pattern of false representations.”

DreyfusWe too have noticed some of that. “All the roles are past roles,” a reader noted. “She doesn’t remove the roles from web sites, she keeps using all these titles as a substitute for skills.”

To us, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the credentials are false, outdated, or acquired by means like a romantic relationship. What matters to us is the persistent and ongoing agenda, which was outlined even months before the hate letter was put online, backed by corporate media sponsored by the same corporations that control the OSI and GNOME Foundation. Don’t think those people are just going away and won’t be coming back. They try to induce fear and self-shame to keep RMS silent. He’s still reluctant to do new interviews with us (or with anyone else for that matter). The hate letter was updated just over a week ago, just to say that aren’t accepting a public apology from RMS. Nothing he does will ever make them happy. They’re still concern-trolling the FSF, trying to shun it while taking money from Microsoft (which bribes officials, not just the OSI and Linux Foundation).

To better understand what we’re up against, we must understand the agenda and also understand whose agenda that is. IBM, which is now under fire for abuses against workers, has many reasons to dislike what RMS says.

“If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

04.11.21

“The Fighters of Freedom”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, OSI at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some anime fans have made this video about recent events

04.09.21

Hate Letter Against Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS) Backfired So Spectacularly That Signers Asked to Revoke Their Own Signatures and the List Was Then Frozen Permanently (Updated)

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, OSI at 3:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They wanted to cancel RMS; instead they canceled their own petition!

RMS petitions latest

Summary: “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” tops 6,100 signatures (graph generated just moments ago)

Today we learned that people who had set up the defamatory hate letter “don’t want any more individuals to sign up for some reason” and “oddly, that decision came after several people submitted pull requests asking to get de-listed” (I have heard of a few, spoke to a few, and here’s one more). So it is perfectly possible that the real number of signatures on that RMS hate (defamation) letter may be going down. So they froze the process. Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if the number of signatures started to decrease? “Kind of interesting that they stopped accepting signatures 3 days after the support letter surpassed them,” Artem told us in IRC. So basically, they’re just spreading libel and running away when it backfires instead of retracting and apologising like adults would do. Anyway, the way things are going, it should be clear for everyone to see that the hate letter based on lies was a very bad idea and it’s possible that the blue curve (above) should in fact be going downwards. People realise they were conned and they want nothing to do with this con job anymore. Oh, the irony! Will someone at OSI and GNOME Foundation resign? Maybe the whole Board? Microsoft tenants at the GNOME Board of Directors too…

Update: Graph with numbers added.

RMS petitions at 6100

04.04.21

Who Signed the Hate Letter Against Software Freedom (or Against FSF Bringing Back Its Founder)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNOME, Google, IBM, OSI at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The concern trolls who are associated with FSF-hostile groups (sponsored by monopolies) didn’t manage to build enough momentum to sabotage the FSF; the media operatives on their side, however, try to tell us that the FSF is destroyed (monopolies pay them to say this, hoping for self-fulfilling prophecies)

NOW that the hate letter has reached a standstill (barely passed 3,000 signatures, whereas the response to that may soon reach 6,000 signatures) I’ve decided to record a quick video to explain who prepared and signed this letter (and why). Many of the names are very much expected (same as 2 years ago) and institutions are barely recognisable. Many have the strong conviction against the FSF because they’re BSD projects. Some have nothing whatsoever to do with code. In the case of the GNOME Foundation, they’ve attacked software freedom for many years (well over a decade!) and the OSI is a blatant attempt to steal the thunder from FSF. There should be no expectation of them supporting the FSF. They can only pretend.

“Many have the strong conviction against the FSF because they’re BSD projects.”The video above uses mostly polite language, unlike the letter that was signed. At the end they accomplished almost nothing. If anything, as people pointed out to me recently, the FSF became only more closely aligned with the uncompromising ideology of its founder. Some of the others left the FSF. Maybe that’s for the better.

03.31.21

The Open Source Creative Commons: Code of CONduct

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, OSI at 3:20 am by Guest Editorial Team

Creative Commons research and guest author post by Marcia K. Wilbur

code CONduct

Summary: Marcia Wilbur takes a closer look at what happened to Creative Commons in recent times; it’s not what people have come to assume Creative Commons stands for

After some research, I discovered changes at CC, from “open the door” to open source. The people there embrace this and Ehmke. Here are some details.


Imagine my surprise to see the Creative Commons updated website, which honestly seemed somewhat abandoned recently – except for a few students working on a search engine in late 2019.

“Imagine my surprise to see the Creative Commons updated website, which honestly seemed somewhat abandoned recently – except for a few students working on a search engine in late 2019.”Prominently featured on the landing page was an podcast with Coraline Ehmke. After some research, the following was discovered:

- Creative Commons has adopted a Code of Conduct based on Contributor Covenant.

- November 2, 2020: The CC Open Source website was announced. Google and Outreachy as contributors – as usual! To add insult to injury, the CC Open Source website claims: “WE HAVE BEEN BUILDING FREE SOFTWARE AT CREATIVE COMMONS FOR OVER A DECADE.”

Yes. But Open Source software is very different from free software with regards to ethics and philosophy!

CC OS

“Say Hello to Our New CC Open Source Website!
This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2020 and Outreachy. This post was written by Dhruvi Butti, a 2020 Outreachy intern and a 3rd-year undergrad at IIIT Surat.”

Can we delete the shameless plugs and get to the important stuff? This unwelcoming site includes not only has Codes of Conduct (codes), but an option in the navigation to: Code of Conduct Enforcement

Community huh

CC enforcement

Now, there is a Code of Conduct committee and lots of documentation about policy. Why is there so much work around Code of Conduct? I’m dev. I code. So much policy and at Creative Commons. Why? There was never a need for this before.

While we have a right to say and do what we want, we also consider civility and community. Will you replace community with policy?

November 4, 2020: Two days later a post came in about the open source project and contributing on GitHub (a Microsoft platform).

A post about heading in a new direction appears, as Diane Peters departs.

February 19, 2021: Podcast “open minds” announced.

March 16, 2021: Meet Your New Global Network Council Executive Committee!

March 19, 2021: Podcast – with Coraline Ehmke

In my wildest imagination, I could never have predicted an Open Source movement from within the Creative Commons. However, when you leave the front door ajar, some see this as an invitation to enter.

In 2001, RMS and Lessig rallied together in San Francisco.
In 2002, the Creative Commons received funding to move forward.
By 2014, a new effort and project, the Free Culture Trust, was a collaboration including Creative Commons.

This project was a diverse group of free software (so I believed at the time), open source and proprietary contributors. There were differences in how each group viewed the workflow. There were differences with regard to philosophy, software use, certain mission direction areas. There were as many differences as possible. There were different genders, religions. Did that matter? No. In the end, we contributed and collaborated in a civil and friendly manner. We had no Code of Conduct. We didn’t need one.

There were recommendations by each party as to how to best contribute. A collaboration tool respecting all views did not exist, and we went from requests to using Etherpad to using Google Docs. We never considered a Code of Conduct. We did not need one.

E-mails, voice meetings, and Etherpad were used. During meetings, we discussed the goals and mission of the trust, for a document. During the months long process, suddenly, the Commons dropped off support.

We were informed (2014) the Creative Commons closed their physical doors for lack of funding. Well, we live in a digital age, so closing physical doors is somewhat acceptable – especially if you do not have funding.

The years to follow seemed to be somewhat stable. People didn’t realize or didn’t care about the physical location.

Then, there were some issues with the commons licenses and forks.

One example is recently, in a documentation list for OpenOffice, former AOO documentation people discussed with OpenOffice the use of CC by 3 and CC by 4 and needed to get legal involved. Somehow during the fork of LibreOffice, the content license was changed from CC by 3 to CC by 4 with a mix of GPL (GPL, it’s not just for code snippets!).

The bottom line here is, maybe we need more guidance and less copy and paste of licenses like Code of Conduct or Creative Commons.

Listed below are some free options:

Content
GFDL or Public Domain

Code snippets in Content
GPLv2 or GPLv3

Code
GPLv2 or GPLv3

Code of CONduct
NONE

Unnecessary. Using the current popular “template” for Code of Conduct is not in the best interest for my community efforts or my work in AIoT.

Try and see this from the developer’s standpoint. Of course, let’s be civil in our projects.

Try the FFmpeg Code of Conduct if you absolutely need to use one.

From the FFmpeg CoC: Finally, keep in mind the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other.”

The problem with our organization models in our community could be partially attributed to being subject to donations to survive or thrive. Our organizations have succumbed to popular culture, fashionable ethics and being subjects rather than directors.

As organizations de-prioritize the importance of individuals in our community (see OSI article at Techrights) for corporations and funding, how can our community thrive?


Copyleft News: Will you Demand Freedom?

As a recap of the last couple years, we had:

OSI placing Microsoft as a prominent force in their efforts. In 2020, Ehmke lost by approx. 65% of the vote.

SFC held a Microsoft Sponsored Copyleft conference during FOSDEM. Ehmke spoke about the Rising Ethical Storm in Open Source.

Some other presentations listed below:

Karen Sandler spoke about Software Ethics and Copyleft Licensing.

Josh Simmons spoke about Copyleft in a business context.

John Sullivan discussed Copyleft Expansion with SFC.

It’s their party. They can say whatever they want. At the end of the day, we as a community choose whether to accept their proposals or not.

Will you choose enforcement and policing…?

or

Demand Freedom?

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