EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.01.08

Bringing Free Software Values Back: Please Welcome Equitable Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, GPL, Microsoft, SUN at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The open source validity index

MilkingTheGnu.org (MTG) has just officially announced a new project/initiative. It is called Equitable Open Source (EOS).

EOS comes after a recent suggestion which was brought up and cited very broadly by anxious or curious members of the open source crowd. To give a rough idea of what it might be all about, here is part a comment that I left in MTG’s blog just over a week ago:


Over the past few years I’ve learned, based on very many articles and rants, which companies are open source/FS fakers and which ones are not. That’s one index we/you could set up.

Equitable Open SourceAnother one that comes to mind is vendors (software *and* hardware) that are Linux-hostile/friendly.

That first index [free software credibility index] has become quite a popular one for those who do not know who’s who. In the earlier days I used to just ask PJ, who knew the journalists’ history.

I add not based on single incident[s], but based on recurring patterns (like gauging speed to identify speedy drivers based only on a *sample* of incidents).


MTG, which seems to be looking into a Wiki to sort this out, explains the rationale for this.

…this also resulted in a situation where the balance of power has somewhat shifted from community-centric to commercial-induced interests.

And since commercial interests don’t always correspond (why would they?) to the spirit and the principles of free and open source software, there is a need to balance more equitably commercial and community interests through new initiatives.

There are many examples of the problem that MTG is aiming to address. To give 2 examples which were posted in Tux Machines a few hours ago (both related to Mozilla Firefox):

Are your Firefox extensions proprietary software?

In the last-post, I went through the most popular Firefox extensions and talked about whether they were good ideas or not. However, it seems that not a lot of people think about another side to this, i.e. what are your Firefox extensions licenced under?

It turns out that a lot of the extensions available through Firefox are not free/open source software at all.

One example is the StumbleUpon Extension.

[...]

For example, here are five popular extensions that are free software/open source:

* Firebug: Mozilla Public License 1.1
* Flashblock: Mozilla Triple Licence (MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1)
* AdblockPlus: Mozilla Public License 1.1
* FireGPG: Mozilla Triple Licence (MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1)
* NoScript: GPL

Eventually, after a bit of digging and Googling, I found their Toolbar-License and guess what? Yes you guessed it, it is proprietary software. So if you want to run free software/open source, then get it off your system now!

Firefox 3 RC1 forces you agree to EULA before usage

While Mozilla has had a EULA since Firefox 1.5 or so they have never brazenly shoved it into the end-user’s face until now. It immediately set me on edge because this behavior is indicative of proprietary software and not something you would expect to see when using something that is open source.

It seems likely, based on MTG’s previous and recent admission, that this Equitable Open Source push was inspired by an index that we have in this Web site.

It will be a pleasure to have a reference (and service) such as that which MTG tries to establish. It comes at a good time because only an hour ago one reader reminded us of Sun’s likely motives in entering “open source”.

Another reader has been repeatedly suggesting that we set up the IRC channel, #boycottnovell, now that the site attracts enough people to drive well over a gigabyte in traffic per day.

Related readings:

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts