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[Old] Microsoft Shill Jonathan Zuck/ACT Busted by Oracle

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Peeping Larry

,----[ Quote ]
| That wasn't enough for Ellison. Oracle retained Washington-based 
| Investigative Group International to probe the pro-Microsoft spinners in the 
| antitrust battle. I.G.I. hit pay dirt. Oracle says that in the trash of the 
| Independent Institute--which took out pro-Microsoft ads signed by leading 
| academics--investigators found evidence that Microsoft had given the group 
| more than $200,000. (The Independent Institute insists its positions have 
| been unaffected by any support from Microsoft.)      


Oracle-MS flap -- how it happened

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| Oracle next turned its sights on the Microsoft-backed Association for 
| Competitive Technology, which in January announced it would file a 
| friend-of-the-court brief on Microsoft's behalf, using a team of prestigious 
| former government lawyers. Oracle's Washington team viewed the move as 
| outrageous, given the probability that the brief would be paid for with money 
| from Microsoft itself. In April, Oracle told IGI to look into ACT.     
| Soon yet another player surfaced: the National Taxpayers Union. It had long 
| been publicly criticizing a suit against Microsoft by state attorneys general 
| as "government-led larceny of Microsoft's intellectual property." In mid-May, 
| as the group renewed its attacks on the government, Oracle again suspected 
| the hidden hand of its software foe. Once again, it dispatched IGI, which 
| promptly went trash-hunting. IGI discovered that the National Taxpayers Union 
| had received more than $200,000 from Microsoft. That information surfaced in 
| The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post in May.        
| [...]
| It was trash-hunting at ACT, however, that ultimately brought Oracle's 
| entanglement to light. For that, Oracle can thank Robert M. Walters and a 
| conscientious cleaning crew.  
| In May, Walters, an amiable former journalist who was IGI's chief 
| anti-Microsoft detective, leased an office near ACT's Washington offices. He 
| used his own name but identified himself as an official of "Upstream 
| Technologies."    
| [...]
| Walters also paid $4,445 to lease the office space near ACT using a check 
| drawn on his personal bank account, according to records obtained by the 
| Journal. And he used the telephone in the Upstream office to call his home 
| and his wife at her office. Those calls later were easily traced because they 
| were routed through the building's computerized phone system. Together, these 
| steps bore the mark of a detective who appeared not particularly worried 
| about covering his true identity. In June of 1999, Washington lobbyists for 
| software giant Oracle Corp. grew dismayed by the skill with which Oracle's 
| bitterest rival, Microsoft Corp., seemed to be manipulating public opinion. 
| As Microsoft faced the antitrust fight of its life, a group called the 
| Independent Institute bought full-page newspaper ads citing 240 academics who 
| criticized the government's antitrust attack on Microsoft.           
| [...]
| It wasn't long before IGI produced results: Internal documents showing that 
| Microsoft had paid Independent Institute, based in Oakland, Calif., $153,000. 
| Independent Institute President David Theroux suspects that information was 
| stolen. People familiar with the operation, however, intimate that it was 
| obtained by rifling through trash, a practice that isn't illegal. IGI 
| Chairman Terry Lenzner said Wednesday that his firm "abides by a rigorous 
| code of ethics and conducts all of its investigations in a lawful manner," 
| and that its work for Oracle "was conducted in strict accordance with these 
| standards."         



EU open-source document reflects Microsoft influence

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| One such editor is Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for
| Competitive Technology, a lobbying organization with strong ties to
| Microsoft. There is nothing wrong with Microsoft making its voice heard in
| the software strategy development process, as it stands to gain or lose much
| in the process, but it does make for some interesting political gamesmanship
| in the document.
| While the draft doesn't make it obvious who is saying what, there are
| numerous instances where editors have tried to soften the appeal of open
| source or downplay its significance, repeatedly trying to insist that open
| source not be called out as more significant than proprietary software.


How to Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper

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| Others as in Microsoft and mates.
| All-in-all, the modifications to the document provide a fascinating insight
| into how lobbyists operate in their attempt to neuter threats to their
| constituencies through the shameless evisceration and outright inversion of
| content. Fortunately, when the final strategy document comes out, we will be
| able to pinpoint exactly where ACT's agenda has been inserted. Of course,
| before then we need to make the above document as widely known as possible,
| so that the relevant people at the European Union are aware of what's going
| on, and maybe even take action to prevent this gross distortion of the
| paper's purpose.
| In addition, we must ensure that Wikileaks can continue to provide its
| invaluable service. The world of openness – including open source - would be
| the poorer without it. To that end, we need to support its current call for
| funds to help it carry on its work, and I urge you to make a donation,
| however modest.


European Commission OSS Strategy Draft, Mar 2009

,----[ Quote ]
| This file is an edited version of the EU OSS Strategy draft with the input of
| Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology, an
| organisation that has strong ties with Microsoft[1]
| The file is a draft for an expert panel formed by the European Commission.
| This panel is divided into workgroup (IPR, Open Source, digital life, etc.)
| ACT and Comptia have been infiltrating every workgroup, even the one on Open
| Source (WG 7). They are doing the best they can to drown any initiative that
| would not only promote OSS in Europe but also that could help Europe create a
| sucessful European software sector.
| The audience for this document could be journalists who would be interested
| in getting to know more how lobbies of all kind influence the European
| institutions. Here it is perhaps even more stringent as ACT is clearly an US
| organization with ties to Microsoft. Verifications might not be easy as this
| is an internal draft. The best contact might be commission personnel:
| Lars.PEDERSEN@xxxxxxxxxxxx ; Michel.Lacroix@xxxxxxxxxxxx
| It has been leaked as it is important to have the public know how actual
| policy making is being influenced by lobbies that are precisely under the
| legal scrutiny of the European Commission. The urgency of the publication of
| this document is real in the sense that outside pressure would foce the
| Commission to "clean the committees" or at least give a lesser credit to the
| work of this workgroup.


Microsoft gains familiar ally in IE antitrust battle in Europe

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| Microsoft Corp. gained a familiar ally in its latest antitrust battle with
| the European Commission today when the Association for Competitive Technology
| (ACT) was accepted as an interested third party in the case.
| [...]
| Washington-based ACT, whose members include Microsoft, Oracle, eBay and
| dozens of smaller companies, stood by Microsoft in an earlier European
| antitrust case that resulted in the software vendor being found guilty of
| monopoly abuse in 2004. The group made passionate arguments in favor of
| Microsoft during hearings held by the EC and the appeals process at the
| European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.


ACT backs Microsoft in Brussels' IE legal spat

,----[ Quote ]
| The Association for Competitive Technology has been accepted as an interested
| third party in the case.

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