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Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft buys the Swedish vote on OOXML?

Rick, you've asserted:

/The other side to the story is that MS discovered and fixed the
mistaken/inept email within hours, that they alerted SIS, and that it
wouldn't have impacted the vote/

based on the posting in a blog of one of the MS people involved in the
standards effort. As I said in my private email to you before, I don't
know whether this is true or not. I have not seen the actual email, I
don't know whether other Microsoft partners (who according to multiple
reports *did* attend the meeting and *did* impact the vote) were also
offered inducements, either verbally or via email, and I don't know
when/if Microsoft alerted SIS and whether this was before or after the
email became public. I do look forward to finding out the details on
these issues, but until I have I'm not going to comment further.

Now you're also claiming people have alleged irregularities in many
other countries, including New Zealand, where I live. Can you point me
at some of these allegations? I told you in my email that:

/Microsoft here in New Zealand used TechEd to solicit their partners to
lobby for a "yes" vote (and failed), and I think they were within their
rights to do so as long as there was no inducement offered./

and as far as I know that's the whole story here. I'd like to find out
what else happened, or was alleged to have happened.

  - Dennis

Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> On Sun, 2007-09-02 at 13:43 -0700, Tim Bray wrote:
>> On 9/1/07, Rick Jelliffe <rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:
>>  > Dennis Sosnoski said:
>>  > > It's now clear that bribery *was* part of the process
>>  >
>>  > The other side to the story is that MS discovered and fixed the
>>  > mistaken/inept email within hours
>> Rick, I can't believe that you're pushing back on the central news
>> story here; this is the most corrupt and politicized standards process
>> I've seen in the two decades or so I've been mixed up with standards.
>> It's a real, legitimate, big, news story.
> Tim: where exactly is this corruption? No actual instance of corruption
> has been found *anywhere* that I can see. In this this case in Sweden
> there was a mistake and it was corrected *before* any harm occurred.
> (Furthermore, strictly, whether mistaken discussion of a potential
> inducement even against company policy by someone not authorized to make
> such an offer anyway is wrong is a matter of regional law and custom,
> not morality: is it a bribe for a company to pay the travel expenses of
> an academic or open source advocate to attend meetings and vote, for
> example?  Or does it only become wrong if they don't disclose it before
> the vote?) 
> The withdrawal of the Swedish vote was on a timing issue (no time to
> have a recount because of the ISO deadline) not because of any
> corruption issue, as far as I know. 
>> Trying to ignore the elephant in the room gives the appearance
>> of being either a fool or a tool.  -Tim
> But seeing only elephants in the room is a sign of hallucination or
> hysteria. 
> Come on Tim, give us an example of actual inducements being offered
> (i.e. and not withdrawn as soon as the mistake was discovered) and acted
> on. I have been following the stories pretty closely: it is always "MS
> is buying votes in Freedonia" and when you check it is that people
> joined the committee legitimately and voted according to their
> interests. 
> I am pretty pissed off. Every time the extreme anti-OOXML crowd doesn't
> get a vote their way, or forgets to register, or gets excluded from a
> chairmanship or a task force, or has someone they don't agree with join
> a standards body or speak at a standards meeting, or didn't agree with
> the chairman's rulings, or hypes up a committee vote only to have it
> change, as regular as clockwork one will come up with some insinuations
> of stacking (i.e. attendance) or bribery (which is the blanket term for
> any inducement or suspected inducement or even being in a business
> connected to MS) and the others will cross-link. When the claim is shown
> to be false, they don't retract it. So people are still claiming there
> were not enough chairs in Portugal, and so on. 
> The countries where irregularities have been claimed are US, UK, France,
> Spain, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Columbia, Chile, Romania, Azerbeijan,
> Malaysia, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Australia, New
> Zealand, Sweden and others. Its a pile of crap by the FUD merchants.
> This Swedish story is the first one with any legs, but MS seems to have
> done all the correct things, in the circumstances: correct the error
> ("within hours"), notify the authorities, admit the mistake. 
> We have an IBM representative offering a prize to uncover dirt: and we
> have multiple blogs which will print any old crap without looking at it,
> and deliberately try to put the worst spin on it. We have a large
> company which has been explicit that if Open XML is voted up, then there
> will be attempts to blacken the process. Politicized: yes. 
> And then the newspapers print this spin, and then you quote them as if
> they have some independent authority. It is Stephen Colbert's echo
> chamber. It isn't just spin, its a tornado.
> The thing is, Tim, that ultimate DIS 29500 or its successors will be
> accepted into ISO based on calm editorial and technical considerations,
> not politics. If you don't trust or like Microsoft, why isn't that a
> reason why you should support Open XML becoming a standard even more?
> No-one thinks MS is a cute fluffy doggy who will come when called and
> roll over to have its belly scratched. 
> But your view, that the world would be better off if Microsoft was
> completely unencumbered by friction and interaction from the
> international standards communities, is really bad thinking. When MS
> comes up to the European Union, and the EU asks "Did you put your format
> up for standardization, as we recommended to stop anti-trust
> considerations?" and MS will say "Oh we tried, but they didn't let us."
> And the EU will say "Oh, darn. We cannot penalize you when you were
> blocked from doing what we requested."
> Tim, do you really want to perpetuate the current system of business as
> usual, with MS entirely a law unto itself? I suppose it gives MS'
> competitors a consistent message and they don't want to find themselves
> pantsless. But legislators have failed to split up or trammel MS, open
> source has focus problems, and ISO ODF is no-where near ready to cause
> any kind of serious disruption. Standards may not be much, but they are
> almost the only game left in town, and it is an opportunity that we
> should be grabbing, not Chicken Little-ing.
> Tim, it is you who don't see the big picture in this. (And I write this
> with enormous respect and genuine affection.)  It is true that we are in
> a room full of elephants, and that standards won't tame the elephants;
> but standards are an umbrella nevertheless, and we would be better with
> the umbrella than without.
> Cheers
> Rick Jelliffe
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