EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


ISO Feels OK With Corruption, Officially Approves OOXML (Updated)

Posted in Asia, Europe, GPL, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, Standard at 3:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I sold out

So, as we already expected and knew yesterday, ISO has just declared Microsoft’s OOXML an international chaos standard, despite the fact that stories about misconduct around the world continue to flow in and numerous antitrust concerns have been raised. Let’s take another quick look.

Philippines Again

Here is a coverage about the Philippines.

The Manila Bulletin Online tells us how the Philippines changed its No vote on OOXML to Yes. Once again there is an indication that when no consensus was reached, the chairman decided to make it Yes. That blatantly happened in Norway, and I can’t help but want more details about the Philippines.

Remember the Philippines? We offered quite an extensive set of links about the Philippines last night. There are too many stories from there which suggest irregularities.


For background on OOXML dirty tricks in Croatia, consider the following posts:

Some of the above were highly disturbing for they illustrated just how easily Microsoft had hijacked the entire process. On the bright side of things, Croatian has just accepted ODF as a national standard, perhaps in order to appease the outrage. It all remains to be seen because ISO for OOXML is just a first step in a much larger battle.

Today, after a four hour meeting, Croatian CSI accepted ODF as a national standard.


Back to Poland now. We covered the situation there on several occasions recently [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Here is an article about this story, which ought to reach wider circulation.

The events leading up to the ISO’s decision on OOXML can best be described as strange.

Take the case of KT 182, the Polish technical committee responsible for the OOXML standardization process, as described on Groklaw: Chairperson Elzbieta Andrukiewicz was instructed that KT 182 should abstain from voting if a consensus was not achieved. Well, it wasn’t, and she said the members who were absent could vote by e-mail E-Mail Marketing Software – Free Trial. Click Here. — but if they didn’t vote, she’d take their non-response as a yes.

Later, when presenting the results of the ballot resolution, she showed a slide that claimed 98 percent of the OOXML issues had been resolved during the KT 182 meeting.

When reminded this wasn’t true, and told that the author of the PowerPoint file was Paul Pesch, platform strategy manager at Microsoft Netherlands, she threatened to sue anyone who repeated the assertion that Pesch was the author.

That slide had been shown at another meeting, and one of the Brazilian delegates had complained about it.

The list of nations listed here is of course very incomplete and partial. We have seen literally dozens of nations where various levels of abuse were well documented. This includes large and seemingly credible nations such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, India and France.

OOXML Not for GNU/Linux Users

The incompatibility with respect to the GNU GPL remains, despite the many repeated lies from Microsoft, which sought to deny this by escaping the question at hand. Even the Microsoft press bothered to mention this problem, albeit ‘second hand’.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, says Microsoft simply fails to go far enough to indemnify developers who hope to write software based on Microsoft’s opened intellectual property (IP). He complains that protections often exist only for what Microsoft terms “non-commercial developers.”

“Unless it addresses the entire supply chain, it doesn’t make a lot of difference,” Zemlin says, arguing that ill-defined boundaries of legal protection under the Microsoft scheme may expose open source developers to threat of litigation.

“Think of it like ant poison. People who are non-commercial developers think, ‘I’m safe.’ They then integrate a patented protocol into the upstream code they’re working on. Then that code somehow gets into the downstream,” Zemlin explains. “Well, that’s like taking poison back into the [nest]. What happens is, inadvertently, an open source developer brings insecticide with a patent license requirement into an open source project.”

And that’s just how one gets a whole platform approved as an international standard. It’s sad to see ISO entering this vortex of global corruption, which makes it part of the problem rather than the solution it strives to deliver (uniformity, competition).

“Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.”

Bill Gates

Update adds more information about the Philippines. Gist below:

The general pattern, like Malaysia, is the same: Government agencies and Academia reject OOXML as an ISO standard. These represent the vast majority of its citizens’ interests. Just what percentage of the population do the “pro-OOXML” Associations represent?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Scott Mace said,

    April 2, 2008 at 11:20 am


    Just this morning, by coincidence, I came across this March 2005 quote by Jason Matusow, speaking about the word “open”:

    “I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

  2. Shane Coyle said,

    April 2, 2008 at 12:11 pm


    Washington Post reports that the EC antitrust folks are keenly interested in how Microsoft has conducted themselves during this process

    When the Commission, Europe’s top antitrust authority, opened a probe into Microsoft’s business practices in January, it said part of the investigation would examine whether OOXML, as the format is known, is “sufficiently interoperable with competitors’ products.”
    A month later the Commission sent a confidential request for information to all the national divisions of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) in Europe, asking for information about the ongoing process of assessing OOXML.
    “In your opinion, have there been any irregularities or attempts to influence the debate or vote on the ECMA 376 proposal as regards your organization? If so please provide details and any relevant facts,” the Commission wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by IDG News Service. ECMA 376 is the title under which Microsoft submitted OOXML for consideration by the ISO.
    The request for information, known as an Article 18 letter, is a formal procedure carried out by the Commission’s antitrust officials, designed to gather evidence of antitrust abuse.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm


    Even if Microsoft gets fined, it’s not as bad as have the ISO retracted. They can still gain from what they have done.

  4. Victor Soliz said,

    April 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm


    According to groklaw OOXML is not an official standard until the next two months end, provided no appeals are made. If it is appealed it won’t be an standard until the appeals end, unless of course, the appeals actually work…


  5. CoolGuy said,

    April 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm


    M$ bought out entire ISO, I hardly see how a appeal will ever work. They have loads of money to throw away at anything that stands in their way…

    This is M$ has built their entire business. By bullying, buying out innovative companies and shutting them down, patent threats, corrupting standards…

  6. Annonymous said,

    April 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm


    About the Philippines, do not expect any news. We are all disappointed and tired, what’s done is done, this is how Filipinos think. Today, we are solidifying our efforts to promote FOSS, forget about ISO because it is now the “International Shitheads Organization.”

  7. Victor Soliz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 12:56 pm


    I like “Irrelevant Suicidal Organization” better.

    If you want an open document format, pick ODF, don’t care about ISO, ECMA whatever, OOXML getting the open standard status does not make it any less problematic stuff.

  8. Annonymous said,

    April 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm


    ISO is now officially a joke. Any companies who boasts of their newly certified ISO shit are now laughable stock. ISO is a complete joke. Do we still need them? NOT ANYMORE SINCE 2000.

    The people know which is the REAL STANDARD, ODF. Any new ISO declared on and after April 1, 2008 are SHIT Standards. No ONE will care anymore.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Adobe joins the anti-ISO/OOXML camp, the destruction of ISO’s reputation will affect all pre-OOXML standards like PDF.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 2:00 pm


    As I wrote a few minutes ago, Microsoft intends to have another ‘duplicate standard’, ramming XPS (PDF competitor) down ISO’s throat. Single-handedly, a company is rendering standards meaningless, and it’s working to its own benefit.

    Warnings about XPS at ECMA began to emerge almost a year ago.

  10. Victor Soliz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm


    What MS thinks about this http://rcpmag.com/blogs/weblog.aspx?blog=2075

    Dear MS: You can get your format approved by ISO a thousand of times, You are still not my boss, and will never be.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm


    There is a good article in the Financial Times about the market failing to regulate itself and it applies to the corruption we’ve witnessed here. I’ll post a link to it later.

    I sometimes think that Free software is indeed, as Stallman insists, about morality to a large extent.

  12. Victor Soliz said,

    April 4, 2008 at 11:53 pm


    And… Miguel loves that ISO approved OOXML, unsurprisingly:


  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 5, 2008 at 12:01 am


    Yes, Microsoft employees were thrilled to hear about a renewed lock-in on the market and the stagnation of standards. Miguel was no exception and now is a good time for his to apply for a job there or pick a $500/hour consulting contract.

What Else is New

  1. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  2. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  3. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  4. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  5. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  6. Links /11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  7. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  8. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  9. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  10. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  11. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  12. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  13. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  14. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  15. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  16. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  17. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  18. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  19. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  20. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  21. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  22. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  23. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  24. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  25. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  26. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  27. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  28. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  29. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  30. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts