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 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    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