Bonum Certa Men Certa

How Microsoft 'Bought' Nicolas Sarkozy, France, and Parts of Europe

Further to this previous and recent post about Microsoft using Universities for marketing, we've received more information that will be handy in the future.

Last week we cited a French publication that spoke about Microsoft. Much more of the same sort of stuff was seen before. We became aware that, like Le Temps, Le Monde has a very limited article retention policy. Beyond that, old articles go into the archives which are available only for those who pay for access. It makes such information hard to get hold of.

”There were rumours that Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently became President of France, received support from Microsoft, which makes sense given his liberal market policies.“There's more where that came from (and been interpreted by) one who done this sort of thing in the past -- during the Microsoft anti-trust trial of the 1990s. He contributed some articles to a Web site called "billwatch.net", which was run by a Dutchman named Case Roole. The Web site was devoted to studied criticism of Microsoft.

There were rumours that Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently became President of France, received support from Microsoft, which makes sense given his liberal market policies. Microsoft received some payback when his government recently passed a new law on the "autonomy of the universities". One of the items of this law, which was protested through a strike of many students and professors, is that universities can now set up foundations by which they can receive funding from private sources.

Microsoft wasted no time in taking advantage of this new law. The University of Lyon 1 opened itself to the corporations. We received a translation of the first paragraph along with some quotes from the head of Microsoft France.

In full opposition to the Pécresse law on the autonomy of the universities (the announcement seems to be a thumb of the nose), Microsoft has signed a partnership with the Claude Bernard University at Lyon. The private group will bring 180,000 euros over 3 years, of which a third will finance the funding of study.

"It's very useful for us to see how the teachers and the students use our technologies. That also helps us to understand the graduates and the types that come from the unversity for our recruitment.", explains Eric Le Marois, the education director of Microsoft France.

"We will bring teaching content with IT Academy but the teachers will be free to use it or not. It's the same thing for free software, the university could use them if it wishes", replies Eric Le Marois (no influence but "propositions").


There is more information about this in student-partners.com (the site is down at the moment, with a Microsoft server error). Another separate source got in touch to say this about the previous post:

It's officially not covert, but they do seem to avoid bringing attention to it. Kind of like the surveillance options in Windows, much of it is described right there in the EULA.

It's been going on for a while. I saw the English language announcement a while back (some time in the last 2 years) and now wonder what role these fifthcolumnists have in undermining the infrastructure at some universities


It is also worth noting that the "Microsoft Research INRIA Joint Centre" opened at the beginning of 2007 (INRIA being France's national computational research organisation.) It's understood that this followed an infusion of Microsoft money, but the process of opening this organisation began in 2006 before Sarkozy was elected as president. I've personally known people from INRIA since 2004 (my research peers or colleagues in the field of machine vision).

Our anonymous contributor believes that this is very similar to how things work in the United States (which Sarkozy professes to admire though he doesn't speak good English). Sarkozy apparently already receives some small 'rewards' from a Microsoft executive. A little bit of a recall brings up the following recent article.

"[French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and his family have been vacationing at a lakefront estate in Wolfeboro owned by former Microsoft Corp. executive Michael Appe. The president was previously photographed relaxing dockside in his swim trunks."


Surprisingly perhaps, it's MSNBC with the report. This was actually covered in some other news outlets other than MSNBC, which is, as the name implies still associated with Microsoft, no matter how many attempts are made to deny this after a breakup.

To say more on this, there is no "holy grail" incident which is a reference for direct Microsoft funding of Sarkozy. All one can trivially find are some indirect evidence such as that he took his summer vacation in New Hampshire, USA at the residence of a former Microsoft executive (see above).

A quick search on the Web says more about this incident, and beyond it. Now, consider what happened in France when OOXML was discussed:

Apparently, the French discussion on OOXML broke into something resembling a bar-fight.

[...]

Matters soon got out of hand: the shouting seems to have climaxed with the Microsoft representative insulting the management of AFNOR, members of the Defense Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Interior Ministry, and two members from the Industrial Ministry exclaiming that they were servants of a banana republic!


We actually covered this here before. It received little or no media coverage at the time.

Don't forget the recent DMCA law which practically forbids playing DVDs using an open source library that is necessary. It is under Sarkozy's watch that the DAVDSI (French equivalent to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act) has been expanded further.

Open source groups asked all of the candidates of the last presidential election about their positions on software patents and free software. All candidates except Sarkozy defended free software. Instead, Sarkozy defends "intellectual property" and the "right" of businesses to control it. Overall, his response was deemed to be quite negative by free software advocates.

Additionally, there is now a regime in place which requires ISPs to report anyone who uses P2P file sharing to a governmental body and to shut them down if their P2P usage is deemed to be "abusive." That appears to be the latest sign of digression. Another riot ensued when laws that are associated with BIOS got introduced.

To show you how these things work, consider this video from last year. It shows Greece's blind agreement with Bill Gates. The consultation and agreement seems like a personal relationship more than a broadly-accepted decision.



Here is the video's description:

This video presents the signing of an agreement between the Greek Government and the Microsoft Corporation in the context of the Digital Strategy 2006-2013 for Greece. It includes statements of the Greek Minister of Economy and Finance G. Alogoskoufis and the Chairman of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates (Lisbon, February 1, 2006).


There are many more examples (just appended below to maintain brevity). When the Danish authorities get invited to Bill Gates' house (amid movements towards open source and open standards) , that ought to mean something. Mind also the following:

Gates blackmailed Danish gv’ment



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.


Many more examples are appended below, with plenty available upon demand. Their purpose is to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue at hand.

Recently in this Web site (reverse chronological):



Other older articles of interest:



It now appears that Lehne works as a Brussels lobbying consultant for multinational corporations who are the main clients of one of the leading lawfirms for patent litigation in Europe, which is also itself involved in patent lobbying and closely connected to lobbying organisations.




Lately, many signs exist showing how Microsoft's monopoly power extends to government and media. We can add a new example to this list: The "Vienna conclusions". It seems, their power even extends to distorting findings in official UN documents. The story contains all usual elements: Sponsorship, not willing to participate in public discussions, a conflict of interest of one of the members of the committee, and a Microsoft PR worker making a ridiculous statement. After that, of course, Microsoft denied most of it and ignored the rest.




A suspected manipulation of a consultation on the future patent system of the European Union led to the EU Commission being nominated for the less-than-prestigious award -- which the Commission promptly went on to win in the category "Worst Privileged Access."




leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread adoption of open-source software.

Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development.




The study, commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Enterprise and Industry, is but a small part of the larger FLOSSPOLS project that aims to keep the EU a leader in global development of open source software.

[...]

Now, the ISC is widely regarded as a shill for Microsoft, although the member list also includes companies like Intel, Autodesk, and RSA Security (now an EMC subsidiary). The 300-strong member list is mostly padded with lesser lights such as Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi (Turkey), ThreeSixtyDegreez (Pakistan), and Datoprogrammu Apgads (Latvia). The institute pushes hard for the right to patent software, alongside regular bashings of open source businesses.




A European Commission official originally chosen to lead its antitrust case against Microsoft left on Friday last week to work for a consultancy that has the software firm as a client, a spokesman said.




Before C. Boyden Gray was named as George Bush's number one person in Europe, he was a lawyer lobbying on behalf of Microsoft.


A similar report on China and Asia is on its way as well.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Firefox Has Fallen to 2% in New Zealand
At around 2%, at least in the US (2% or below this threshold), there's no longer an obligation to test sites for any Gecko-based browser
 
Brittany Day, Plagiarist in Chief (Chatbot Slinger)
3 articles in the front page of LXer.com right now are chatbot spew
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Georgia: Looking Good
Windows down from 99% to less than 33%
Tomorrow is a Historic Day for Press Freedom in the UK
Take note of the Julian Assange case
Hiding in a Forest Without a Phone and Hiding Behind the First Amendment in the United States (US)
some serial defamer is trying to invert the narrative
Links 19/05/2024: Iran's President Lost in Helicopter Crash, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Awaits Decisions in Less Than a Day
Links for the day
Links 19/05/2024: Microsoft Investigated in Europe
Links for the day
4 Old Articles About Microsoft/IBM SystemD
old but still relevant
Winning Streak
Free software prevalence
Links 19/05/2024: Conflicts, The Press, and Spotify Lawsuit
Links for the day
GNU/Linux+ChromeOS at Over 7% in New Zealand
It's also the home of several prominent GNU/Linux advocates
libera.chat (Libera Chat) Turns 3 Today
Freenode in the meantime continues to disintegrate
[Teaser] Freenode NDA Expires in a Few Weeks (What Really Happened 3 Years Ago)
get ready
GNU/Linux is Already Mainstream, But Microsoft is Still Trying to Sabotage That With Illegal Activities and Malicious Campaigns of Lies
To help GNU/Linux grow we'll need to tackle tough issues and recognise Microsoft is a vicious obstacle
Slovenia's Adoption of GNU/Linux in 2024
Whatever the factor/s may be, if these figures are true, then it's something to keep an eye on in the future
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 18, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 18, 2024
Links 19/05/2024: Profectus Beta 1.2
Links for the day
Site Archives (Not WordPress)
We've finally finished the work
[Meme] The EPO Delusion
on New Ways of Working
EPO Representatives Outline Latest Attacks on Staff
Not much has happened recently in terms of industrial action
Links 18/05/2024: Revisiting the Harms of Patent Trolls, Google Tries to Bypass (or Plagiarise) Sites Under the Guise of "AI"
Links for the day
Links 18/05/2024: BASIC Story, Site Feeds, and New in Geminispace
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
Justice for Victims of Online Abuse
The claims asserted or pushed forth by the harasser are categorically denied
[Meme] Senior Software Engineer for Windows
This is becoming like another Novell
Links 18/05/2024: Deterioration of the Net, North Korean IT Workers in the US
Links for the day
Windows in Lebanon: Down to 12%?
latest from statCounter
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day