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Bruce Perens: Don’t Trust Microsoft on ODF; Europe to Crack Down on Microsoft Lobbying

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday we wrote about Microsoft's attempt to 'consume' ODF. Joining the skepticism now is the man behind the open source definition and a vocal critic of Novell's deal with Microsoft. Bruce Perens does not trust Microsoft, either. He explains why.

Microsoft was also present at IETF meetings around that time, and was enthusiasticaly gaming the system. I remember one Microsoft attorney with three assistants who were each feeding “audience” questions at the attorney’s direction.

Organizations like Sun, which ran a large standards department, were tremendously concerned with Microsoft’s attempts to game the system at the time.

Microsoft is no newcomer to the standards business. Protests otherwise on their behalf are insincere.

Remember Tim Bray's confession about experiences with Microsoft inside standards bodies. It plays dirty. And speaking of which, it seems like Europe is prepared to finally step up and curb the disease which is political manipulation — one of those areas where Microsoft is clearly an industry leader.

Until now there has been no attempt to regulate the Brussels lobbying process or to open it up to public scrutiny.

When the E.U. embarks on a reform of technology-related laws, or when its executive body, the European Commission takes on an industry titan like Microsoft in an antitrust battle, an army of lobbyists gets to work in an effort to influence events.


“A compulsory register would be better,” McGann said, although he stressed this is his own opinion and not the official position of EICTA. “You will never stop the more corrupt element in Brussels lobbying without a compulsory list,” he added.

Appended below is a list of resources to those who are new to this epidemic.

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  1. Andre said,

    June 24, 2008 at 1:22 pm


    “A compulsory register would be better,” McGann said, although he stressed this is his own opinion and not the official position of EICTA. “You will never stop the more corrupt element in Brussels lobbying without a compulsory list,” he added.

    Ha! A lobby register puts only the small and informal players at a competitive disadvantage, and an EICTA slave would make the work for Mark McGann. Large lobby associations have no problem to present their work and provide clean data.

    The only information that matters is; who are your top three clients.

    I don’t think a lobby register would have prevented McGann’s astroturfing in the software patent debate.

    But, ehm, I mean the Stubb lobby report is out. So let’s say something nice. McGann may be against ruthless lobbying and may believe he should be fired and advocate for world peace.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 24, 2008 at 2:07 pm


    I think there should be a Wiki-like mindmap depicting the players (read: corrupt people) involved in this mischievous push for software patents where they never belonged.

    Also see:

    …where those “opportunities” almost certainly amount to sneaking in software patents by the backdoor.

    Be alert for more of this stuff: the price of freedom is eternal vigilance etc. etc. etc.

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