|FROM ||From: "Stanley A. Klein"
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Re: eGovOS conference in D.C.; I'm not attending that
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Date: Sat, 08 Feb 2003 10:44:41
To: David Sugar , gnue-at-gnu.org
From: "Stanley A. Klein"
Subject: [hangout] Re: eGovOS conference in D.C.; I'm not attending that
Cc: rms-at-gnu.org, jays-at-panix.com, hangout-at-nylxs.com, bkuhn-at-gnu.org,
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Reply-To: "Stanley A. Klein"
List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
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I seriously doubt that many people at the conference would be under the
illusion that Microsoft's "shared source" nonsense is in any way an
extension of Free/Open-Source software.
The fact that they were placed in the *preliminary* agenda under "vendor
perspectives" is probably a result of the fact that there might not be any
other place to put them. I can visualize some possible debating partners
for them in that group (such as Michael Tiemann of Red Hat), or I can
visualize them being moved to a different group such as the policy area
where Bruce Perens has a presentation. Please note that the conference was
way late in finalizing its speakers list and hasn't yet shown the speakers
organized into sessions.
In any event, by the end of the session in which the Microsoft speaker
appears, I expect it to be abundantly clear to every attendee that "shared
source" is lipstick on a pig.
[For the non-US members of the list, this refers to a TV commercial aired
in the wake of the scandal over misleading stock brokerage analyst reports.
In that commercial a manager at a corrupt brokerage firm gives a pitch
about selling their customers on buying a worthless stock and ends with him
saying to his analysts and brokers, "Let's put some lipstick on this pig."]
I think the situation will become more clear when we see the conference
agenda organized into sessions and session topics.
At 09:39 AM 2/8/2003 -0500, David Sugar wrote:
>I think the key reservation that has been expressed, at least for me, is not
>in Microsoft's participation in events, but in their deliberate attempt to
>mis-represent themselves and "shared source" as a legitimate form of "open
>source" somehow related to/an extension of Free and Open Source software
>licensing. By permitting Microsoft participate at an "Open Source" or FS
>conference specifically "as if" it were an open source vendor and
>false legitimacy to a form of licensing that removes rather than grants
>rights permits them to misrepresent what OS/FS licensing is about as well.
>think it is clear there is a specific problem with the very specific way
>have chosen to participate in the eGovOS conference and with the very
>specific way they (Microsoft) have chosen to portray thier appearence at
>conference to further this very message.
>I have thought about this further this morning, and emotional issues aside,
>and even getting past the issues with any specific individual organizer of
>the event, the above remains a very valid concern and certainly must be
>addressed. Ideally this should be addressed in some very direct manner
>within the conference itself and most ideally directly by at least some of
>the conferences organizers. I would like to see them have that oppertunity
>to choose to do this. I understand Bruce Perens has some involvement in
>organizing this conference, and I believe he would understand the issue
>raised above for what it is. I would certainly like to hear how they feel
>about this well before considering any confrontational course of action.
>On Saturday 08 February 2003 01:33, Stanley A. Klein wrote:
>> At 06:47 AM 2/8/2003 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
>> > If we go the press will report what we say. Some reporters may partly
>> > for some Microsoft lies, but if we do not go, almost every reporter
>> > will present the worst, stupidest, and most vicious Microsoft lies as
>> > being "simply the facts".
>> >It is important to go to the event to correct the falsehoods, but at
>> >the same time we must also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the event.
>> >For people who think that "Linux" World reflects what our movement is
>> >about, the simple fact that they invite Microsoft is a statement much
>> >louder than ours. How exactly to do this, I am not sure.
>> >The tendency for events that pretend to be part of our community to
>> >betray its spirit is very harmful, and we have to push back against
>> >it. I wish we could push back much harder than we have done in the
>> Are you suggesting that in order for the conference to be legitimate a
>> university and a conference committee that includes several government
>> employees should deny a speaker from Microsoft the right to present the
>> Microsoft position in debate before an audience almost guaranteed to be
>> packed with active competitors and adversaries of Microsoft?
>> Can you imagine for a moment the uproar and political firestorm that would
>> result from such a situation?
>> At the eGovOS conference in October they had someone from the Alexis de
>> Toqueville Institute, a Washington think tank nobody ever heard of before,
>> present a position in a debate with Bruce Perens. The position was based
>> on a paper that could easily have been ghost written by a Microsoft
>> lobbyist. (There was another pro/anti-Microsoft pair of speakers, but I
>> don't remember who they were.) I don't recall a pro-Microsoft question or
>> comment from the floor during the Q&A following the speeches. I even asked
>> a question, which I intend to turn into a proposal for an IEEE-USA position
>> paper on the conduct of public business in publicly interoperable data
>> As an attendee and participant in this and related events, let me assure
>> you that the event does not merely pretend to be part of our community, it
>> is part of our community. And the spirit of our community is not betrayed.
>> Indeed, it is extending into government in very positive ways.
>> Microsoft is working as hard as they can to exclude us from government. We
>> need to block their moves. For example, at the request of the government,
>> IEEE-USA has committed to setting up a conference on "secure information
>> technology" and I am working to ensure that the Free Software and Open
>> Source software communities are represented there.
>> I view the eGovOS conference as a positive move to help block Microsoft
>> from what they are trying to do and to advance our cause within government.
>> Stan Klein
New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
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