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11.19.13

Free/Open Source Software Almost Reduced to Marketing Label

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

National Organic Program

Summary: Exploitation of the good reputation of FOSS as noticed in habitual non-factual media coverage

IN a recent article about “misconceptions”, misconceptions were being spread, using FUD to supposedly counter FUD [1]. If a piece of software is not Free/Open Source software (FOSS), then it is proprietary. By that standard, TrueCrypt for example is proprietary, as the OSI’s president explained a few days ago [2]. Being “half open” is like being “half pregnant”, so the misuse of terminology needs to stop. To some, the debate about FOSS is not about freedom; it is framed as “To Pay or Not to Pay” [3] or a matter of “Profiting”, to use Matt Dugan’ angle [4].

There are many companies out there which claim that they spread FOSS while they are in fact some kind of a mixture (like WSO2 [5]). When dealing with such companies it’s often found that “Open Source” is just a marketing label to them; in practice they make money by selling proprietary software. We need to put more emphasis on this issue and help reveal companies which merely exploit FOSS for promotion (without delivering FOSS).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. On the misconceptions of open source vs. proprietary debate in Big Data

    When it comes to open source versus open core proprietary there can be some mistaken assumptions. For instance, proprietary is equated to meaning closed and implies vendor lock-in. Yet, not all “non-open source” software solutions are proprietary or closed.

  2. TrueCrypt or false? Would-be open source project must clean up its act

    Security isn’t TrueCrypt’s only controversial point — its claim to be open source doesn’t hold water, either

  3. FOSS in the Enterprise: To Pay or Not to Pay?

    One of the big attractions behind the growing popularity of open source software is the ability to get it and use it for free. In a world of ever-rising costs in pretty much every other aspect of business and life, “free” is an offer that’s increasingly difficult to refuse.

  4. All Things Open: On Vendor Mistrust, Containerization & Profiting From Open Source

    I was very pleased, however, with Matt Dugan’s presentation, “In Defense of Vendor Mistrust.” A Middle Solutions Architect for Shadow-Soft, Dugan was on target with the reasoning behind his conclusion that in most cases enterprise users will gain in the long run if they move to open source.

  5. Boeing uses open source to build cloud-based digital aviation platform

    The world’s largest aerospace company and aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, has used open-source application development software firm WSO2′s service-oriented architecture (SOA) to build a cloud-based digital aviation platform.

    The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, dubbed the Boeing Edge, has been used to refocus the manufacturer’s attempts at connecting with its airline customers, Jim Crabbe, senior product manager at Boeing, told delegates at WSO2′s developers’ conference in San Francisco.

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