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

05.09.08

Microsoft Literally Pays ISO (Sponsors ISO Meeting) (Corrected)

Posted in Europe, Finance, ISO, Microsoft, Standard at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Norway at the very least

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

ooxml_demo_4.jpg

There was clearly a transaction of money made by Microsoft in Norway, which passed it on to ISO. Good catch. Watch the picture inside this page and recall our old entry about soft briberies.

A reader of ours sent the following artwork that he had produced some hours ago. Click on it for a Full-sized version. It’s mildly amusing.

The Nightmare

The BSI, which seemingly shares some people with ISO (e.g. Alex Brown) has already been taken to court. It got sued over (mis)handling of OOXML (Correction: see more accurate description in the comments below]. Let’s see what the guys in Norway do next. OOXML is not a standard yet. Technically, it can never be.

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

11 Comments

  1. Alex H. said,

    May 9, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Gravatar

    I was going to raise this issue the other day, but you made the same mistake again today.

    BSI haven’t been sued. What happened is that UKUUG requested a judicial review: that means they’ve asked a court to review whether or not the process BSI followed was correct (_not_ whether or not their conclusion was correct). Unlike a lawsuit, if they are granted a review and then the review goes against the BSI, there is no penalty. The decision is set aside, and BSI reconsiders it: they can of course reach the same pro-OOXML conclusion again.

    Don’t expect the BSI review to happen before the end of this month. The administrative court has a large backlog of cases and is actually doing extra shifts at the moment to get through it: a review (if granted) would be largely symbolic.

  2. ZiggyFish said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    Athouvh it’s not a lawsuit as such it’s still a inquiry into the conduct of the BSI and at anytime can revoke the ISO standardization of OOXML

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Gravatar

    I’ll correct the text in any event. Thanks, Alex.

  4. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Gravatar

    ZiggyFish – I actually don’t think that the ISO status of OOXML is under threat from that enquiry.

    We have this “appeals” time limit. An “appeal” doesn’t mean “I want to change my vote”, it means “there was a problem with this process”. For this review to result in BSI issuing a formal appeal to ISO, the court has to request a judicial review, the review has to happen, the BSI decision has to be set aside, the BSI has to re-consider it’s decision, the BSI then needs to come to a different decision *and then* decide to lodge an appeal.

    I just don’t see that happening in three weeks.

    Personally, I doubt the decision will be set aside – I’m not even sure a review will be granted. The premise of the request – that the technical committee at BSI voted against OOXML – seems to be wrong, so the issue of the process being flawed seems to be moot.

    That’s not to say I’m defending what happened at ISO; I think both ODF and OOXML have caused trouble at ISO (ODF for being developed outside of ISO and the ISO standard now effectively being obsolete, OOXML for the obvious pressures Microsoft & those invested in the Office ecosystem put on the process). I don’t think BSI did anything wrong though, and I think overall it’s better for OOXML to be in ISO control than Microsoft control – people forget that Microsoft and ECMA no longer control the development of the format. If that had happened with ODF, I don’t think OOXML would have been approved.

  5. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe a better way to phrase it would be that the BSI vote was “formally challenged”? This may not result in BSI changing their vote, but it does shine a light on the whole process and show that there was strong opposition to the BSI’s stance on OOXML. I can only hope that other countries will follow this example if, as it seems, some other national standards bodies like Norway, Poland, Germany, etc. remain defiant that “they did nothing wrong.” If the latter is true, then I think their processes leave a *lot* to be desired. I even recall that someone pro-OOXML like Jesper Stoclund agreeing that the ISO standardisation process itself is weak and relies heavily on the integrity of the national standards bodies, which seem highly suspect in a number of cases.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    Alex,

    Microsoft does not obey what’s in ISO’s hands, regardless. It never intended to. It said so explicitly over half a year ago, so that last argument of yours is moot, IMHO.

    Moreover, your description of what happened there in pursuit for a standard underplays what was a “brutal and corrupt process” (Tim Bray’s description and one of the biggest scams in computing history (another person’s take). It was sheer corruption, I assure you as one who has watched this since 2006.

  7. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    Roy S,

    The Microsoft/ECMA proposal for maintenance wasn’t accepted; the ISO plan is the one laid out with a maintenance committee responsible for the standard and another for harmonisation with ODF. So, you shouldn’t confuse the current situation with what was previously put forward: if Microsoft don’t play ball with the ISO maintenance process, then they can’t claim to output an ISO standard document format. That would then make the entire process of standardising their format pointless: and so far, they’ve been pretty good at keeping up with the changes in the format as it went through previous standardisation.

    As for sheer corruption – I think that’s the in the eye of the beholder. Every standard which goes through has significant corporate supports who have a vested interest in seeing it accepted. Take for example MPEG: it’s an ISO standard, but it’s heavily patented and you have to pay a pretty penny to use it. The latest MPEG isn’t like some technical work of art, either – they basically took Apple Quicktime and documented it. Adobe did the same thing with PDF. ISO standards are actually, more often than not, just a proprietary standard which was later documented.

    Whoever lost the argument over OOXML would have complained bitterly about the process being corrupt, undue influence, etc. The basic math was that Microsoft has more friends interested in working with Office than IBM has friends working with ODF.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    ODF is not IBM. That’s just the same old Microsoft FUD (trying to warp the problem, making it a seem like a giant vs. giant duel).

    Regarding the rest, Microsoft won’t care about ISO compliance. It’s all about pretense and perception. It’s about marketing.

    On the corruption bit, no… it was by all means corrupt. Maybe you just haven’t watched it closely enough to see the bullying, the bribery, the blackmail, etc. It was disgusting, it was scandalous.

  9. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Gravatar

    I wasn’t saying ODF is IBM (it’s not; it’s Sun ;) I was saying that the primary protagonists anti-OOXML within the ISO system were IBM or IBM-supported. You can choose not to believe that, but I know what I’ve seen.

    If you don’t think Microsoft care about ISO compliance, I honestly think that you’re misguided. Standards compliance isn’t important to Microsoft’s home and business customers, it is important to their Government customers. Government purchasers tend to be less affected by marketing, and if Microsoft claim ISO compliance when it doesn’t exist I suspect they would be relatively well aware of that.

    As for bullying/bribery/blackmail.. I think that’s too easy a retort, to be honest. There are stories on both sides and if you only listen to one side’s stories then of course you come away with that impression. I think it’s very easy to make allegations about the process when you disagree with the result; let’s see how many of those check out factually and turn out to be true. The BSI case will be a very good example.

  10. Roy Bixler said,

    May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s a pretty good example of one aspect of the argument, which is the question “was OOXML really suitable for ISO’s fast track approval?”:

    http://lehors.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/clarification-on-what-the-fast-track-is-really-about/

    It seems that it’s an honest matter of interpretation but I do feel that, if Stoclund’s interpretation is correct, then there is little that is respectable in a standard that’s been “blessed” by ISO. It would mean essentailly “we’ve cajoled enough national standards bodies and ISO officials to see things our way.” It does not mean originally what I thought an ISO standard means, which would be that there is broad consensus among technical people around the world that the proposed specification is a mature and tried-and-true one.

  11. AlexH said,

    May 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy B – indeed.

    You don’t need to look through many ISO standards to disabuse yourself of the notion that they are technically brilliant often.

    For example, ISO 9660 – the CD format we all use (.iso files, right?) Would anyone who cared about doing things technically correctly limit file names to 8.3 format? Who other than DOS/CPM couldn’t support long file names, and was anyone using DOS really burning CDs? If you wanted to “do things right”, you’d just remove that restriction and not have it available in the standard.

    But that’s not how standards work.

What Else is New


  1. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  2. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  3. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  4. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  5. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  6. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  7. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  8. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  9. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  10. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  11. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  12. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  13. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  14. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  15. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  16. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  17. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  18. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  19. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  21. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  22. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  23. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    Links for the day



  24. No Patents on Life (CRISPR), Said EPO Boards of Appeal Just a Few Hours Ago

    Broad spectacularly loses its key case, which may soon mean that any other patents on CRISPR too will be considered invalid



  25. Only Two Weeks on the Job, Judge Patrick Corcoran is Already Being Threatened by EPO Management

    The attack on a technical judge who is accused of relaying information many people had already relayed anyway (it was gossip at the whole Organisation for years) carries on as he is again being pushed around, just as many people predicted



  26. EPO Board of Appeal Has an Opportunity to Stop Controversial Patents on Life

    Patent maximalism at the EPO can be pushed aback slightly if the European appeal board decides to curtail CRISPR patents in a matter of days



  27. Links 16/1/2018: More on Barcelona, OSI at 20

    Links for the day



  28. 2018 Will be an Even Worse Year for Software Patents Because the US Supreme Court Shields Alice

    The latest picks (reviewed cases) of the Supreme Court of the United States signal another year with little or no hope for the software patents lobby; PTAB too is expected to endure after a record-breaking year, in which it invalidated a lot of software patents that had been erroneously granted



  29. Patent Trolls (Euphemised as “Public IP Companies”) Are Dying in the United States, But the Trouble Isn't Over

    The demise of various types of patent trolls, including publicly-traded trolls, is good news; but we take stock of the latest developments in order to better assess the remaining threat



  30. EPO Management and Team UPC Carry on Lying About Unified Patent Court, Sinking to New Lows in the Process

    At a loss for words over the loss of the Unitary Patent, Team UPC and Team Battistelli now blatantly lie and even get together with professional liars such as Watchtroll


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts