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

06.22.10

Faking Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft, OSI at 2:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There’s free [gratis] software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Michael TiemannSummary: The Open Source Initiative (OSI) needs to rethink its methods; Groklaw asks the OSI, “have you pruned out the Microsoft toadies/partners yet?”

Simon Phipps joined the OSI only some months ago and it is encouraging to hear him speak about bringing software Freedom ‘back’ to this organisation. When a company like Microsoft can join it while attacking “Open Source” and clearly describing it as a competitor, then something is obviously wrong. Over a Groklaw, Pamela Jones wrote about an OSI group: “I was part of that original group, and I quit in short order. My answer to his question would be this: have you pruned out the Microsoft toadies/partners yet? Got a plan at least? Until that happens, I won’t ask anyone to volunteer to help and I surely won’t either. I’d rather start from scratch.”

The OSI’s mistake of allowing Microsoft entryism is still costing it. By allowing proprietary software companies on board they diluted the impact of this organisation. We wrote about the subject in posts such as:

Yesterday, one reader sent us this item of news which shows how organisations that describe themselves as “Open” (Open Cloud Community Initiative in this case) are not truly interested in openness or even freedom. It’s just a marketing tool to them.

Why does an open cloud standards proponent get the boot from an open cloud organisation for wanting more open standards?

It sounds like a bad riddle or some strange joke on the old Orwellian concept of “some things being more equal than others”. But it’s no joke for Sam Johnston, secretary of the Open Cloud Community Inititiative (OCCI) Working Group – or at least he was until yesterday when he was abruptly sacked by the working group’s chairs

The background to all of this has been over which open licence to use. Sam Johnston has been pushing for the Creative Commons licence, and arguing against the Open Grid’s own licence, which he sees as more restrictive.

Maybe it’s time to return to “software Freedom”. It’s less susceptible to misuse.

“The FSF is needed now – more than ever,” argues Sam Varghese in his response to Brockmeier's latest insult.

When would one expect an organisation like the Free Software Foundation to be really relevant to the world of computing at large – when there is a limited threat to freedom in computing or when the threat is increasing exponentially?

One would think that in the latter case, the need for an organisation like the FSF would be that much greater. But some people think differently. People like Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, for example.

Last week, Brockmeier put forward his views – the FSF should not just say no to the use of non-free software, things like SaaS (software as a service) and devices like the iPad, it should provide alternatives, was his take.

The function of the FSF must be properly understood by potential critics. The FSF has actually stuck to its goals for 25 years; it didn’t let itself be shaped by its environment, which in the case of the OSI meant being co-opted.

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 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft-Linked Codenomicon and Bluebox in the Business of Smearing FOSS/Linux/Android

    odenomicon and Bluebox, two companies with strong Microsoft links, fill the media with negative articles about Android



  3. Is Microsoft Being Raided Not Just for Anti-Competitive Reasons but for Bribes and Back Doors?

    News about raids in Microsoft China mostly lacking when it comes to background, context, and information about Microsoft's crimes in China



  4. Former Microsoft Engineer Working on Windows BitLocker Confirms Government Asks Microsoft for Back Doors

    Recalling the times when even Microsoft staff spoke about secret government collaborations and back doors



  5. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  6. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  7. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  8. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  9. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  11. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  12. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  13. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  14. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?

    Renewed activity in FOSS-leaning legal site Groklaw amid numerous victories for FOSS



  15. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  16. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  18. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  19. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  20. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  21. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  22. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  23. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  24. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  25. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  26. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  27. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  28. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  30. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert


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