09.03.19

Gemini version available ♊︎

Openwashing Report: Save the Term (or Concept of) ‘Open Source’ or Lose it For Good

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And remember that proprietary GitHub is… ‘openness’?

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The term “Open Source” faces extinction by meaninglessness — a subject if not a taboo topic that seemingly bothers nobody, certainly not those standing to benefit from the idea that everything proprietary is actually “open”

THIS series is likely to become a regular feature here. Due to need, not to want(ing). Due to the growing urgency. We’re losing Software Freedom and almost nobody — not even the FSF — talks about it.

Here are some more examples.

When you call something “open” AI (or OpenAI), but refuse to release the code, what does open even mean? Or when you keep the code secret, for supposedly “ethical” reasons? As if there’s something inherently unethical about Free software.

“Microsoft censors not only FOSS projects; it also blocks developers and entire nations (massive collective punishment).”Welcome… to 2019.

Wired has published “OpenAI Said Its Code Was Risky. Two Grads Re-Created It Anyway”. As a reminder, Microsoft went as far as deleting other people’s AI code (in GitHub) and entire projects (also banned from GitHub) because they were “open” AI. For “ethical” reasons? Yes, criminals say they censor projects for “ethics”…

We already covered that at the time. Microsoft censors not only FOSS projects; it also blocks developers and entire nations (massive collective punishment). This is why Microsoft should have never been allowed to control GitHub. But remember what Jim Zemlin (Linux Foundation chief) said publicly at Microsoft events when regulators considered the takeover; he said “Open Source loves Microsoft!”

GitHub, Linux Foundation, and MicrosoftSo much is at stake. Billions of hours of programmers’ work! Net worth: billions. The man in the Foundation sells Linux to Microsoft (et al) — a subject we’ll deal with in a later part. The man in charge of GitHub sold about 50 million Git repositories to Microsoft (the person in middle, the one shown above, is the man who came up with this idea almost half a decade ago, based on the company’s stenographer at Bloomberg).

“Free software in general is losing the “free as in speech” element.”But let’s go back to “open” AI. Putting aside the misuse of the term “AI” ("hey hi"), there are serious ramifications here. Censorship and secrecy are being branded “ethical”.

Free software in general is losing the “free as in speech” element. Extreme pretexts such as Nazism usher in the normalisation of censorship (of code).

There’s lots of good too in “hey hi” (a term we generally mock because it has often come to mean just about any algorithms/programs with if/else statements, i.e. branching/decisions). Here’s an example from last week’s news: When they say “hey hi” in the new article entitled “This Company Created An Open Source AI To Identify Mold” they mean machine learning with training, classifiers etc.

“Microsoft is moving them into the whole ‘Inner Source’ agenda (newspeak for proprietary software, akin to Shared Source).”Well, at least they actually share code.

Sadly, some go the other way.

“GOV.UK is the core platform for hosting government websites and information,” Derek du Preez wrote the other day in Diginomica, but now “GDS takes GOV.UK open source code and makes it private…”

The British government basically takes FOSS and makes it proprietary software. We could go on and talk about how many of these projects have been outsourced to Microsoft at GitHub (just like Linux Foundation projects). This probably merits a post of its own because as part of my ‘daytime’ (nighttime) job I see it all the time. Microsoft is moving them into the whole ‘Inner Source’ agenda (newspeak for proprietary software, akin to Shared Source). Open Source is being killed. Just like that. Silently. Behind ‘private’ repos. GitHub, i.e. Microsoft, says it makes these ‘free’ (gratis). Yes, proprietary software is… free!

“GitHub helps Microsoft steer a lot of this agenda.”These are of course direct attacks on the very core of Software Freedom. There are more and more of them as time goes by. GitHub helps Microsoft steer a lot of this agenda.

Another angle or vector of attacks is brand dilution — an aspect we’ve named here very often this past summer.

We have a new example.

Schlumberger is greenwashing (“ecosystem”) and openwashing the oil sector by calling a little open data venture “open source”; we also mentioned this last month. Publications called “Oil Review Middle East” and “Oil and Gas Middle East” have just done a couple more puff pieces, “Schlumberger open sources its data ecosystem and contributes to OSDU forum” and “Schlumberger open sources data ecosystem” [1, 2].

“Schlumberger is greenwashing and openwashing the oil sector by calling a little open data venture “open source”…”We’ve meanwhile also spotted the thing called “Quansight Futures” heradling the “Quansight Initiate”, starting with a press release [1, 2] entitled “New Venture Fund Targets Open-Source Entrepreneurs in Austin, TX” and then puff pieces based on the press release. This one says: “Quansight Futures, based in Austin, announced the launch of a new $20 million early-stage investment fund focused on open-source technology.”

This seems very much like openwashing, based on the press release that says, e.g. “startups that leverage open-source technologies” (read: merely exploit Open Source and give nothing back). This very closely relates to the subject we covered in the previous Openwashing Report (published a couple of hours ago).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  4. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  5. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  8. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  9. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  12. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  13. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  16. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  17. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  19. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  20. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  21. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  23. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  28. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  29. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO


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

Recent Posts