How Microsoft Subverted the UN’s Vienna Conclusions

Groklaw has an excellent article written by Georg Greve (the president of FSF Europe) called The Complete Story of the Vienna Conclusions which tells the process that the UN and WIPO went through to reach conclusions and how Microsoft managed to get them changed without even the knowledge of the chair of the committee!

This apparently happened because of a comment by Microsoft on a blog that was, well, shall we say less than well used or publicised. You can read the full comment from Microsoft here.

The relevant quotes are:

p5/2. Digital Rights/Creative Commons
While we largely agree on the point that more choices should be given to creators and users (and the subsequent conclusions on Creative Commons or Wikipedia) we explicitly disagree on the notion that “increasingly, revenue is generated not by selling content and digital works, as they can be freely distributed at almost no cost, but by offering services on top of them. The success of the Free Software Model is one example” and propose to delete this text part completely, as it contains only an one-sided perspective on the ICT industry. The rationale for this is, that the aim of free software is not to enable a healthy business on software but rather to make it even impossible to make any income on software as a commercial product. We donīt see this neither as a viable not as a desirable path for the future economy of Europe.

That’s so bad it’s not even wrong.

P6/3. eLearning and eScience … Deletion of “…like the linux project” as this is only one particular – anti-commercial – specificity of the open source landscape. You could use instead of “Linux” the more broader term of “open source project”.

So Linux is “anti-commercial” ? Quick, someone better tell IBM, Redhat and everyone else who’s making money out of it to stop, quick!

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