04.07.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Is “OpenSource-isation by Corporation” the Next Big Threat?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Patents, Standard, SUN at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees.”

Martin Bryan, former Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1

We have had our share of complaints about OSBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], which is sponsored by Microsoft seemingly for Microsoft to strut its presence in front of an audience comprising players Microsoft views as the disruptive wave which it wishes to envelope. It’s also a show for the media.

Increasingly, what used to be referred to as the “Free software movement” seems to be commercialised only in the sense that a “business” slant of it receives broader attention. In a way, businesses and various semi-unrelated waves like SaaS steal the thunder from the very same foundation on which they were built. This is nothing new and the danger here is that companies which fear Free software will try to pull developers onto a middle ground they gradually change.

Have a look at this new writing which speaks about that trend.

Each year it seems that there are more and more grumblings about how commercial Open Source conferences are moving further and further away from Free Software and Open Source communities. Incongruously, some of the loudest (or at least most noticed) complaining comes from some of the most consistent participants on the conference circuit. I myself have joined in the guilty pleasure of kvetching about how this year’s iteration of a given conference just doesn’t have the same soul as some previous year.

Here is another new take on the situation.

Historically, as far as I know, commercial open source was first practiced by MySQL, even though the term was only invented later by SugarCRM. A core go-to-market approach is the dual-license strategy. Only commercial open source can apply this strategy. The term professional open source was invented by Marc Fleury of JBoss to give open source a better reputation; mostly it refers to the provision of services around some particular open source software.

Both commercial and professional open source are go-to-market approaches and core strategies of a firm’s business model. Community open source is not a business model.

As we stressed before, the concern here is that companies like Microsoft and maybe even Sun Microsystems will attempt to paint Free software with a new brush that includes shades of software patents and a relationship too close to a single vendor, which in turn gains great control and influence. Another issue is of course the dilution of the term “open source” — a dilution to which Microsoft contributes 'generously'. Microsoft is not alone, however, because its partners Novell and Aras, for example, have the very same negative effect. And here comes yet another new example of this dilution:

I am often dismayed by the misappropriation of the term open source. Companies apply the term to products that are free though not open source. It’s a classic marketing maneuver to leverage a brand that already has broad recognition.

A clothing company sent me a release not too many months ago about their new open source clothing line. After close inspection they meant design your own outfit from their catalog of designs that they owned. It wasn’t open source but I recall a number of open source trade publications picking up the story. Good marketing stunt but not accurate.

If the “open source” term isn’t repaired or policed more properly, it will continue to devolve and be assimilated to something that already exists: proprietary software. And at that stage, it no longer matter if even Microsoft’s Partner [sic] Groups says that open source will dominate. At that stage, open source would have absolutely nothing to do with freedom, let alone control by the user/customer. The same bruise had its effect standards, particularly after what Microsoft had done to ISO.

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.

A Single Comment

  1. akf said,

    April 7, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Gravatar

    The term Open Source has always been a distraction of Free Software. In the beginning they said, it was a two step plan: first keep quiet about freedom to get companies hooked and in the second step tell them, what it is really about.

    Maybe it would have been a good plan. But the second step never came, and I have my doubts today, whether it was really planned.

    So if the “brand” OpenSource goes down the drain, I won’t shed a tear. I use “Free Software”. When it becomes more clear, that it is not the same, the better it is for Free Software.
    (That’s also the reason, why I don’t support Perens)

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  2. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  4. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  6. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  7. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  9. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  11. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  12. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  13. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  15. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  16. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  17. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  19. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  20. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  23. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  25. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  27. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  30. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day


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