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More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"
Monday, March 24 2008 @ 10:47 PM EDT

More issues now have surfaced regarding some tactics being used to get OOXML approved as a standard. This time it's from a delegate from Brazil, who is challenging the "Law of Silence," the expression he coined in an earlier blog post for the restrictions on revealing details of the BRM meeting. He alleges that he believes Microsoft has itself violated it. It relates to Microsoft's claim that 98% of issues were resolved at the meeting, which he says is inaccurate, but his question relates to why Microsoft can talk about the BRM and no one else can. He thought that number was handled at the BRM, when a slide with that figure on it was shown, challenged, and he thought handled; yet he hears from a colleague in Chile that the same slide just showed up there, with the same figure, and with Dr. Sam Gyun Oh's name on the slide, the Chairman of SC 34, in a "presentation made by Microsoft to demonstrate how everything was resolved in OpenXML".

The Brazilian delegate has written to ITTF, asking about the validity of the confidentiality requirement and asking if it's valid for all, why something isn't happening to enforce it on Microsoft. He says if he doesn't receive a timely answer, he will answer all media questions about the meeting.

Keep in mind that his native tongue is Portuguese, not English. I think, for example, when he uses the word "crime" he means in the loose sense in English equivalence of a violation of the rules. Here's what he writes:

As Brazilian delegate at the OpenXML BRM , I really want to write about the details of that meeting, because I believe that everyone should know in detail what happened in that room, to understand that there are companies nowadays that are ill intentioned and without any ethical limit (sad, but true !!!).

Just to cite one example, I was recently advised that in a presentation at a NB (National Body from JTC1), it was used a SLIDE which was initially presented at the closing part of the BRM. I cannot write about the whole details, but my last contribution at the BRM, as a Brazilian delegate, I’ve asked to Mr Barta, representative from ITTF (ISO/IEC) and more or less “the judge” inside the room, that the text of that slide should be corrected, because on the way that it was presented it distorts everything that was discussed on that week. When I’ve finished my explanation, Mr Barta informed Mr. Oh (the secretary of SC34, from Japan, author of that slide and the person that was presenting it) that that slide and those numbers SHALL NEVER leave that room, because they didn’t summarize nor represent the results of the meeting. The slide didn’t also explain the process used by the meeting so it is meaningless to the people that wasn’t at the BRM. (issue solved ok? … no)

When I left the meeting and arrived at the hotel, I’ve discovered that a professional from the company that has submitted the specification to ECMA had already published the data the web, on his blog (and soon withdrawn… strange, right). To the people that don’t know what I’m talking about, it is about the absurd number of 98% of problems solved that Microsoft insists in use worldwide, committing a CRIME every time that uses or present those numbers.

I was in that meeting and I cannot write the details about it, why these people has this right? They really are above ISO and IEC? ISO and IEC will be seeing all this without take any action (ie those silent consent)?

The concrete fact is that I was informed by a colleague of Chile, that in last week, this slide (with the name of Mr. Oh on it) was used at a meeting of Chile’s NB. The slide was part of a presentation made by Microsoft to demonstrate how everything was resolved in OpenXML. This is a DISCLOSURE CRIME OR NOT?

I would like to register here this question to ITTF (ISO/IEC) about the validity of the “non disclosure” that we were asked during the BRM. I’ll also send an official question to ITTF and if I do not get a response in time, journalists from around the world can contact me because I will tell everything that everyone wants to know about the BRM.

I have written to Dr. Oh, asking if he wishes to comment. Should he do so, I'll let you know.


More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence" | 233 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 24 2008 @ 10:54 PM EDT
good for him

looks like mickey soft is making their own rules with ISO too.

is there nothing they won't stoop too?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 24 2008 @ 11:01 PM EDT
Should any be needed.

--Bill P, not a lawyer. Question the answers, especially if I give some.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 24 2008 @ 11:03 PM EDT
People like clickies. The 'Post a Comment' page reminds you how.

--Bill P, not a lawyer. Question the answers, especially if I give some.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Commentary
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 24 2008 @ 11:04 PM EDT
You can use the Title of your comment to give us a clue about the news pick
you're commenting on.

--Bill P, not a lawyer. Question the answers, especially if I give some.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Take one for the team
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, March 24 2008 @ 11:31 PM EDT
Some country (Brazil or other) should just 'take one for the team' - ie break
the silence, tell all about the BRM, and suffer the consequences, whatever they
may be.

Of course, no one country wants to do that, but that's what 'take one for the
team' is all about.

Or maybe use WikiLeaks, or the 'I am sparticus' technique - multiple countries
spill the beans and everyone claims responsibility.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"
Authored by: digger53 on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 12:09 AM EDT
Not surprising ,.. MS wipes its feet on rules,law, etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 12:27 AM EDT
It really is that simple.

You see it everywhere these days if you have been paying attention.

This is the darkside, at their evil worst.


You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who loses if M$OOXML loses?
Authored by: TropicalCoder on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 03:17 AM EDT

Patrick Durusau, in an apparently bizarre turn-around from his former pro-Microsoft stance, has posted a satirical blog, "Who loses if OpenXML loses?"(PDF) (at least it is my understanding that this is satire). Though a bit clumsily written, the satire draws its humour from pretending to be a list of reasons why national bodies should vote FOR OOXML, when in fact they are all obviously reasons to vote AGAINST it.

Prominently near the top of the list of the reasons to vote for "OpenXML" is: "Microsoft based third-party vendors may be excluded from contracts because Microsoft has no ISO approved format". This strikes to the heart of the funny bone because it makes it clear that Durusau, like the rest of us, is concerned that the entire ISO process was manipulated for Microsoft's exclusive benefit. The way I understand it, with the wink of an eye he shows that he is as much concerned as us all about Microsoft's ambitions to achieve lock-in in the document realm via M$OOXML. It is clear to me that he really means to say that this would be a fitting outcome since Microsoft declined to participate in the formulation of ODF.

[ Reply to This | # ]

An Open Letter to the Standards Council of Canada re: MS, OOXML and ODF…
Authored by: WestCoastSuccess on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 06:36 AM EDT
Thanks for your excellent coverage of this issue! Thought I'd share with you a
letter I sent to the Standards Council of Canada on this very topic...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008:

ATTN: Standards Council of Canada.

Dear Sirs and

It’s with considerable interest that I’ve been following developments
(such as is possible, given the meetings are behind closed doors with a media
gag…) of the above referenced Technical Committee, to which Canada, as I
understand it, is one of the 40 participating countries. Lately, things appear
to be getting increasingly interesting.

Most notable is my concern with the
influence being exerted by Microsoft Corporation in attempting to persuade
member countries to adopt the OOXML language in favour of the truly open and
free ODF format.

Microsoft, as you are no doubt acutely aware, has repeatedly
been found guilty of engaging in monopolistic trade practises, and has a long
history of leveraging their dubious monopoly in operating systems against any
potential competitors. They’ve used (or rather abused) the standards process in
the past to create a monopoly in other products. A good example of this would be
their W3C non-complaint web browsing software, Internet Explorer. Internet
Explorer, as I’m sure you’re also aware, does not fully comply with web
standards such as HTML 4.01, CSS Level 1, XML 1.0 and DOM Level 1. Nor does it
conform to CSS Level 2 or DOM Level 2, and it also does not support XHTML.
However due to Internet Explorer’s widespread adoption (itself the subject of
anti-trust litigation), web page designers are forced to write non-compliant
code in order to accommodate Microsoft’s product or risk the failure of their
web sites to render properly on the majority of their site’s visitors’ browsers.
That’s simply one example. Most recent in Microsoft’s long history of litigation
and fines is the fine of 899 million euros levied by the European Commission
this past February - this for failure to comply with the requirements of an
anti-trust ruling dating back to 2004!

My point is simply this: you are my (and
the rest of Canada’s citizens’) representative at the ISO bargaining table, and
having watched Microsoft’s strong arm tactics succeed so easily and often in the
past, I implore you to steer the noble course of truly free and open standards.
The vote you will cast has some very significant ramifications for the degree of
open competition we’ll see over the course of the next decade, and will further
impact the speed with which we reach convergence and true compatibility - only
then will competition in technology and software truly blossom. Want to
stimulate business in Canada? How about plotting a course whereby companies will
not be required to spend thousands of dollars in order to simply share
documents? While you’re sitting across the table from the Microsoft
representatives in their no-doubt crisp new suits, as they assure you (and the
press, media gag notwithstanding) that “98% of issues with OOXML are resolved”,
remember that Al Capone also wore fine suits. He too hit his competitors about
the head with baseball bats.

In the interests of full disclosure, I own no
shares of any technology/software company, nor do I work for or receive any
compensation from any tech/software company, monetarily or otherwise. I’m just
another in a sea of faceless people whose interests you represent and who wants
to be proud his government made the right, open, and free decision. I look
forward to raising a toast of fine Canadian beer to the courage of your resolve
to make that most open and free choice.

Most sincerely,

Martin Lynch

[ Reply to This | # ]

More OOXML BRM Messiness: A Delegate from Brazil Challenges "Law of Silence"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 09:15 AM EDT
Just a note, the word crime in portuguese, really retains pretty much its
meaning, regardless of context. After reading the article, i was wondering if
the "silence rule" has some legal backing, because i really don't
think he means anything else, and i can't think of any other meaning in other
context. I think he really means crime, as in fraudulent activity, punishable.
The only other context usable for the word is as in waste, figuratively, (such
foobar, what a crime...), which doesn't seems to apply here.
As for punishable activity, i'm sure the european comissioner for competition is
taking a close look at this (as they previously announced), but they won't even
have to search hard, judging by what happened here in Portugal for instance....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Answer all media questions?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 11:07 AM EDT
My, my. Blogs (and therefore PJ) count as media. This could get


[ Reply to This | # ]

This guy sounds like a crackpot
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 11:35 AM EDT
Is what I'm sure Microsoft will say.

Face it, ITTF, you got played. You trusted Microsoft to play by the rules.
Noob error. You don't try to negotiate with the Mob.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Narrative of the ISO/IEC DIS-29500 BRM Meeting - Is he supposed to be doing this?
Authored by: Rooks on Wednesday, March 26 2008 @ 03:14 PM EDT
I did a quick check and didn't see that anyone had posted this one, so here's another one:
Brian Jones on BRM meeting

So, like this "Law of Silence"... if it is accurate, should Mr. Jones be talking about this at all?
Hasn't he broken the "LoS" now as well?


If experience was so important, we'd never have had anyone walk on the moon. ~Doug Rader

[ Reply to This | # ]

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