Bonum Certa Men Certa

No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)


Summary: A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software

EARLIER today we wrote about Microsoft's googlebombing of the term 'Open Source' -- a disgrace that one must fight in order to preserve the value and meaning of Open Source.

A few weeks ago we saw Panasonic (and especially the corporate media) using the term "Open Source" to speak about patents. It is grotesque and misleading. See our clarification regarding Tesla, which did something similar and now enjoys this misleading article titled "Why Tesla gave away all its patents" (the latest among hundreds of such articles about Tesla PR).

"Why Tesla gave away all its patents" an inaccurate and loaded headline. It implies that de-fanging something is the same as giving it away and many articles still wrongly equate that with "Open Source". Now the same thing is happening in relation to Panasonic. It dilutes the Open Source brand and can definitely confuse a lot of people.

Consider headlines like "Panasonic To Open-Source Some IoT Patents" and other headlines that use the word "open", "share", "free", "open" and "free", "Open-Source", "royalty-free", and "intellectual property". Nowhere is there anything like that. Here is the press release [1, 2] whose title only uses the "intellectual property" nonsense (propaganda term).

The word "free" has been widely (mis)used [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] not by accident but by design. So was the word "open" [1, 2], unlike some article that used none of these inappropriate labels, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Rather than name journalists here we should just state that if one chooses to call "Open Source" the act of promising not to sue using patents, then a whole lot of companies out there can be openwashed. Seriously now, does anyone genuinely think that Panasonic did something "Open Source" here?

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