Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

[News] JoaquÃn Almunia (EC Competition Head) Falls for FRAND (Softare Patents) Scam, Microsoft AstroTurfer Jonathan Zuck Lobbies Against EU Interests

  • Subject: [News] JoaquÃn Almunia (EC Competition Head) Falls for FRAND (Softare Patents) Scam, Microsoft AstroTurfer Jonathan Zuck Lobbies Against EU Interests
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jul 2010 14:27:13 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

JoaquÃn Almunia Vice President of the European Commission responsible for competition policy Competition in Digital Media and the Internet UCL Jevons Lecture London, 7 July 2010 

,----[ Quote ]
| Standards and Protocols
| When it comes to standards some minimum 
| requirements must be met to ensure that 
| the positive effects of standardisation 
| can fully materialise. We have identified 
| these requirements in the Commissionâs 
| draft guidelines on horizontal agreements 
| which include an extensive discussion of 
| standardisation.
| The starting point is transparency: if 
| technology is to be incorporated into a 
| standard, then participants that own 
| intellectual property that covers that 
| technology should disclose their 
| ownership. Without transparency, efficient 
| decisions cannot be made.
| For a standard to serve its purpose there 
| should be a commitment to license on fair, 
| reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. 
| If so called âFRAND commitmentsâ have been 
| given, they should be adhered to. 
| Moreover, those standardisation bodies 
| that require full disclosure of the 
| proposed terms and conditions of licensing 
| can be assured that they will not infringe 
| EU competition law by doing so. 


EU seeks to break patent translation deadlock

,----[ Quote ]
| Jonathan Zuck, President of the 
| Association for Competitive Technology 
| (ACT), said the proposal is a "crucial 
| milestone which can revitalize the EU 
| patent dossier".
| "Until now, language discussions have 
| hindered the completion of this long 
| awaited step. Political considerations on 
| linguistic issues should not distract us 
| from realising the full potential of 
| innovation in Europe. Innovative small and 
| medium size enterprises should be able to 
| compete and fully develop their business. 
| It is high time we eliminated unnecessary 
| barriers and make the single patent system 
| a reality once and for all," he said.
| He said he hoped the Belgian Presidency 
| would deliver a deal on a single EU patent 
| system during its six-month tenure.


Is there really an Open Source âTea Party Movementâ?

,----[ Quote ]
| To the credit of Florian Mueller, heâs 
| been involved in the fight against 
| software patents for over 10 years. He 
| also seems to have worked for the Real 
| Madrid Football Club before landing back 
| in Brussels to defend the poor millionaire 
| Monty Widenius against Oracle. Now Florian 
| is all about IBM and claims that IBM 
| essentially shot down the debate on 
| software patents at the Supreme Court by 
| addressing a âFriend of the Court Briefâ 
| in which IBM was essentially explaining 
| the Court should not outlaw software 
| patents right away, as these were valuable 
| intangible assets that could badly hurt US 
| companies. Florian Mueller has also been 
| behind the infamous âOpen Mainframeâ 
| initiative, targeted again at IBM and 
| involving himself in an existing anti-
| trust case.
| I disagree with Dana Blankenhorn on 
| several points. First, Florian Mueller is 
| by no means a leader of the Free & Open 
| Source movement.  Florian had his shot 
| several years ago when the debate on 
| software patents in Europe emerged and was 
| a defining moment for the European 
| community of digital rights and innovation 
| proponents. It was in a sense a ârite of 
| passageâ for many. Since that time, some 
| went their own way, some others maintained 
| the flame and vigilance that is tested 
| again these days.  Florian was part of the 
| former group. He went to work for the Real 
| Madrid Football Club, and we somehow lost 
| his track.  Sometimes after the OOXML 
| standardization odyssey, Florian took 
| several planes to Brussels. He went to see 
| many people, including many of my own 
| personal friends and colleagues. His big 
| project was to crush IBM, and Oracle, and 
| anyone who was benefiting from software 
| patents. Well, not exactly anyone: 
| Microsoft was thoroughly avoided each 
| time, sliding through the raindrops, but 
| leaving everyone with an odd taste in the 
| mouth. Soon enough, Florianâs campaigns, 
| backs and forths appeared to many as  they 
| have always been since his come-back: an 
| over-inflated bag of wind.
| [...]
| In this sense, Florian Mueller has been 
| rattling his saber for almost a year now, 
| launching âfatwasâ and anathemas on 
| selected vendors (IBM and to a lesser 
| extent, Oracle) while refusing to address 
| the very big elephant in the room: 
| Microsoft. Now this is not a rant against 
| Microsoft Iâm engaging into, but truth be 
| told, Ballmer must have a crack at 
| watching its competitors diving into 
| various anti-trust cases in which theyâre 
| involved. And he sure must be very 
| grateful to Florian Mueller, although 
| Florianâs actual impact is very much 
| limited to his own buzz: There is a 
| reality distortion field that seems to be 
| on around Florianâs weblog. It does not go 
| beyond it. Florian has no troops, no 
| clout, no beef, no legitimacy, no 
| credibility among the Free & Open Source 
| Software community.
| [...]
| Make no mistake though: we all stand 
| against software patents. But Florian 
| Muellerâs tactic is strange, extremely 
| partial, and leaves some big questions 
| unanswered: Who does benefit from an anti-
| IBM campaign? Who does benefit from Oracle 
| not merging with a dying Sun? Who does 
| benefit if everybody thinks Google 
| infringes your privacy?



Dedication to Open Source and Open Standards Threatened in Leaked EU EIF Document

,----[ Quote ]
| The Foundation for a Free Information
| Infrastructure offers ten recommendations
| for improving the EIF version 2 and
| preserving "a strong definition of 'open
| standards and specifications' in a way that
| patent cartels do not qualify for the gold
| standard."
| These ten recommendations are:
|    1. Align the EIF 2.0 with the new General
|    Principles from the Interoperability
|    Solutions for European Public
|    Administrations (ISA) document, which
|    calls for technological neutrality and
|    adaptability, openness, reusability,
|    privacy and personal protection of data
|    and security.
|    2. Improve interoperability terminology
|    to once again align with the ISA's
|    definition rather than the new watered
|    down one.
|    3. Market Order and public constituency
|    by creating better functioning markets
|    with increased interoperability.
|    4. Deletion of Chapter 3 and its empty
|    talk.
|    5. Administrative principles such as not
|    tasking public administration with
|    lobbying for political support of
|    interoperability efforts.
|    6. Avoid capture and dilution of interest
|    with weak phrases and definitions.
|    7. Adjust to public administrative needs.
|    8. Open standards, not open concepts, by
|    reinstating the proper definition of open
|    standards.
|    9. Open assessment and continuum to allow
|    government bodies to assess where an
|    offering falls on the "openness
|    continuum".
|   10. Problem-oriented approach by focusing
|   on identifying and solving
|   interoperability problems.
| Other Organizations Speak Out
| Other organizations have also expressed
| their strong concerns, such as the OW2
| Consortium and the Open Source Software
| Thematic Group.


Eurocrats face proprietary FUD attack

,----[ Quote ]
| A European Commission effort to move the continent toward open standards is
| being threatened by Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) from a group favoring
| proprietary solutions.
| [...]
| Clear out the rhetoric and Zuck is saying that monopolies created by patents,
| and only such monopolies, allow technology to move forward, and that a regime
| that truly demands open standards is an attempt to âimpose one business model
| over another.â


Complaints against EU open source agenda may overlook a policy breakthrough

,----[ Quote ]
| A European Commission policy review white paper released last week (PDF
| available here) was brought to light in the US this week by virtue of a
| comment from its most vocal opposition. Yesterday, press sources including
| IDG's Paul Meller quoted the Association for Competitive Technology's
| Jonathan Zuck as taking sides -- not surprisingly -- against the white paper,
| accusing the EC of bias in favor of open source software producers over
| commercial manufacturers.
| "We remain concerned that the policy framework suggested in the white paper
| seems to favor open source software over proprietary software to achieve more
| interoperability," reads another citation of Zuck's statement. Ironically,
| Zuck's ACT Web site from which the statement originated appeared to be the
| victim of a crash in its open source asset management system this morning, so
| only second-hand citations of Zuck were available today.


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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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 â 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (GNU/Linux)


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index