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02.20.20

Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, OSI at 9:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proprietary software + “Open” slant for a marketing angle = openwash

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing

FOR a number of months I’ve been thinking about dropping my reading lists/alerts/syndicators of “Open Source” (primarily but not only RSS feeds), seeing that the vast majority became openwashing. I just can’t get myself to do this, having spent the past 15 years or so watching these feeds very closely every single day of the year. Last year I attended or paid attention to these feeds only once a week (every weekend) and it was a depressing experience for the most part. I literally had to prepare myself mentally (for nonsensical fluff about Microsoft’s ‘Arctic’ ‘Vaults’ or other fake news, puff pieces, press releases and outright lies).

“Last year we did the Openwashing Report (a long series that involved lots of research) and months later explained the reason for stopping. Basically openwashing won and Open Source lost.”I no longer believe “Open Source” — and OSI for that matter — has anything to offer to Software Freedom. Earlier this year I saw that Bruce Perens, the co-founder of the OSI, had reached the same conclusion. This deserved a lot more press coverage, but this “drop the mic” moment on the mailing lists earned perhaps a couple of press articles and thereafter nobody spoke about it anymore.

Last year we did the Openwashing Report (a long series that involved lots of research) and months later explained the reason for stopping. Basically openwashing won and Open Source lost. The norm became openwashing. The fight was long lost and days ago the Linux Foundation issued a report for Microsoft proxies/partners such as Black Duck and Snyk. It was almost the final straw that it was also connected to Microsoft itself. Readers then alerted us about this report generating negative coverage such as “The Trouble with Free and Open Source Software…” (well done, Linux Foundation; some ‘advocate’, eh?)

How to deal with the sordid status quo is an important and deep conundrum — one that’s deepened by the absence of Richard Stallman (surely everyone has noticed that he’s very quiet these days, afraid of coming under another fiery storm; it’s the same as Linus Torvalds after his “manners” break in 2018).

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3 Comments

  1. Upsylum said,

    February 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Gravatar

    It is weird not hearing from Stallman & Torvalds. There was always an article about them somewhere, lately….nothing.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Who needs them when we can have Facebook and Google employees to speak ‘for’ us, the “community”…

  2. se2hel said,

    February 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Start by suing Grsecurity for copyright infringement for blatantly violating section 6 and section 4 of the GPL on the linux kernel (patch) and GCC (plugins): both non-seperable derivative works.

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