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. 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