06.07.20

Openwashing Report: When It Comes to the Linux Foundation and Open Source Initiative (OSI) You Should be a Pessimist, Not an Optimist

Posted in Microsoft, OSI at 2:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I, myself, have officially given up (in early 2019 when I broke the silence; it was already too late to salvage anything anyway because entryism had gone too far)

Weekly openwashing report
Time to discard the systemic openwashers and make replacements; they cannot be reformed (or as Pieter Hintjens put it before his death several years ago, when groups cease to function/go astray you need to start afresh with alternatives as experience shows they certainly cannot be fixed from the inside)

Summary: Certain groups that claim to represent the values of “Open Source” are in fact promoting the interests of Microsoft, GitHub etc. (i.e. monopoly or “open” as in a bunch of monopolies like Facebook and Microsoft sharing code snippets/resources over GitHub)

THE series we did about openwashing a year ago was in some sense ahead of its time. We stopped when it felt like it had become a tad repetitive, i.e. more (and newer) examples of the same patterns — the same ‘thing’…

“Right now we have very urgent issue to deal with and pressing matter to tackle; among them — since around the time we quit the Openwashing Report — is the ousting or attempted ousting of the movement’s leadership (to be replaced by corporations though their moles — docile people to just do their biddings, take their money, no questions asked; think Zemlin).”An openwash isn’t a novel concept. When I started using the term and perhaps coined it 12-13 years ago it was heavily if not solely inspired by the term “greenwashing” (with an overlapping term, “greenwash”). The idea is to make things seem “open” or “green” when in fact they’re not. In the case of “open” it’s also a distraction from freedom. Several parts of the series dealt with the role played by the Linux Foundation and relative apathy from OSI, which was supposed to enforce or protect the term “Open Source”; several time since that series of ours OSI people used the term “open wash” or “open washing”, both in talks and in their blog last week. It’s good to see they’re at least coming to grips with the issue and name it accordingly. Given more time we’d still carry on with that old series. Instead we have a section in Daily Links for it; there’s also one entitled “Entrapment” for stuff like GitHub.

Right now we have very urgent issues to deal with and pressing matter to tackle; among them — since around the time we quit the Openwashing Report — is the ousting or attempted ousting of the movement’s leadership (to be replaced by corporations though their moles — docile people to just do their biddings, take their money, no questions asked; think Zemlin). Sure, “Open Source” isn’t — and was never — about Richard Stallman but part of an attack on him (he calls it “people who don’t agree with me” or something to that effect, to put it more politely/diplomatically). At the start of this year one OSI co-founder quit in protest and another was blocked/ousted for opposing “ethical” licences (misleading misnomer), so we know OSI is becoming somewhat of a lost cause. It keeps bragging — at least twice over the past month — about helping Microsoft. Days ago it still wrote a couple of blog items, looking for more members (i.e. money) as if Microsoft’s isn’t enough.

OSI, Bill Gates, Github is open
Microsoft monopoly is “open” now

“Always follow the money as there’s a darn good chance it’ll tell a story; to us it also explains why the FSF will never say particular things about IBM, Red Hat, systemd and so on.”Last month I wrote about another group, InnerSource Commons (ISC), which I had first noticed about a month earlier. It all leads to pretty much the same thing — “Open Source” being reduced to mere “collaboration” with zero freedom — the very thing that caused the OSI’s co-founder to resign, even twice. Follow the money and you find Microsoft and sometimes even Bill Gates as an individual. Always follow the money as there’s a darn good chance it’ll tell a story; to us it also explains why the FSF will never say particular things about IBM, Red Hat, systemd and so on. They know who pays the bill and losing that money is risky to some people’s salaries. Their problem is, once they lose their freedom to speak openly and their autonomy/credibility they’re also struggling to attract new members, let alone retain existing ones. This is in some sense related to what we cover in the “Gates Press (GatesGate)” series, with Part IV coming soon. For those who missed it, here’s part one, part two, and part three.

“There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Microsoft enters the scene; Zemlin and Microsoft

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