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

11.27.13

The Cheapening of ‘Open Source’, Where Source No Longer Means Source Code

Posted in Free/Libre Software, OSI at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vulnerable terms die hard

Tim O'Reilly
Photo by Brian Solis

Summary: Free/libre software — unlike “Open Source” — highlights the main strength of code people are sharing among one another

WHEN it comes to freedom-respecting hardware, an explanation to the public about the benefits is relatively simple. Many refer to particular actions as “unlocking” or “jail-breaking”, so there is also familiar terminology one can use. The words “free” and “freedom” would have been very helpful in this context, but the “Open Source” movement sought to bury those words.

Nowadays it’s rather common to see articles about the subject accompanied by terms like “open-source” or “Open Hardware” (misnomers because they overlook the main benefit). Some refer to it as a matter of “control” [1]. use it as a metaphor for a process [2], a financial model [3], a business model [4], and even ecosystems [5]. There are many other new articles about it [6-10] and few actually have anything to do with source code.

By going along with a term like “open source” — a term originally coined and used by the spies (like the NSA) to mean something completely different — the “Open Source” movement made itself susceptible to brand dilution and confusion. Companies like Microsoft now call “open” some of their proprietary software products and formats.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open Source Design Offers Greater Control Over Personal Gadgets

    Matthew Casebeer Computer Scientist for MAYA Design, a consulting group that’s focused on simplifying devices and data. He finds that open source design benefits all who share information through their devices, not just computer scientists that work on fixing problems for large groups of users.

  2. It’s Time to Build an Open-Source Music Industry: A Chat with CASH Music

    Six years ago, Maggie Vail and Jesse von Doom launched CASH Music, a nonprofit with the express goal of building open-source tools to help musicians reach their audience—and make a living. Vail originally cut her teeth at the Kill Rock Stars label, while von Doom’s background was in web development. Both wanted to streamline the musician-to-audience experience. And so they made the CASH (which stands for Coalition of Artists and Stakeholders) platform open-source, allowing artists and labels to build networks in their own unique and flexible ways.

  3. Open-Source Capitalism and the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit

    Open-source capitalism is the same exact thing that made early America a successful nation to begin with.

  4. Open source bioinformatics firm raises £1m

    Proof that open source can pay arrived today in the guise of Cambridge bioinformatics company, Eagle Genomics, who closed a £1 million funding round that it said would allow it to further develop its core platform technology and scale up operations including a doubling of staff.

    Having started in human health and expanded into the areas of crop science and personal hygiene, the company also plans to move further into non-traditional areas for bioinformatics such as consumer goods, food safety and animal health.

  5. Can A Smart Beehive Network Of Open-Source Hives Help Stop The Bee Apocalypse?

    The Open Source Beehives Project aims to lower the barriers to backyard beekeeping with simple, low-cost hive designs. With bees dying by the millions, they need to spread the buzz.

  6. Public Labs Open Source Smartphone Spectrometer Let’s You Find Your Wavelength
  7. Out in the Open: The German Plot to Give You Complete Control of Your Phone

    When your last smartphone started to get a little long in the tooth, you probably just bought a new one. Maybe you kept the old one around as a backup. Maybe you recycled it. But, chances are, whatever you did, you didn’t physically upgrade the thing. You didn’t toss in more memory or a new processor or any aftermarket parts.

  8. An open source robotic lawn mower
  9. ArduMower Open Source Arduino Based Robot Lawn Mower (video)

    If like me you would prefer to be dining something else rather than mowing the lawn, you might be interested in this awesome open source Arduino mower which brings a little more fun back to moving your yard and has been under development for some time.

  10. Open-source through the lens of a microscope
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. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  2. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  3. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  4. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  5. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  6. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  7. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  8. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  9. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  10. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  11. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  12. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  13. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  14. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  15. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  16. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  17. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  18. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  19. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  20. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  21. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  22. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  23. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  24. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  25. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  26. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  27. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  28. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  29. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  30. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    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