Bonum Certa Men Certa

Open Source Becomes Web 2.0 and Novell 2.0 (or SCO 3.0)

We previously argued that Microsoft intends to do to "Open Source" with OSI what it did to "GNU/Linux" with Novell. The closer you look, the more reasonable this seems.

Novell, which describes itself as a "mixed-source" company, could learn from this debate and development where there's greater polarisation that separates "Free software" from "Open Source".

Beyond that, many industry watchers, including myself, wonder just how much relevancy the OSI will have in the open source community if it were to actually approve open source licenses from the Evil Empire itself. There are already signs of strengthening polarization between the free software and open source software communities; I have little doubt this could tip over to an outright flame war,


Jack Schofield from the Guardian has for a long time been suspected of serving Microsoft's agenda in a tactfully secret fashion. This new article is no exception and it is worth reading for the value of cynicism.

Either way, if GPL v3 exacerbates the split in the free/open source world, it's a good time for Microsoft to get cosy with the OSI side while trying to avoid Stallman's FSF side. This may sound unlikely, because many people in the open software camp appear to define themselves by their hatred for Microsoft. But it wouldn't be the first proprietary company to get itself accepted. IBM has already made a similar transition.


Of course, the comparison to IBM is laughable, but the idea of separation is true. Also recall this exchange of heated arguments at OSCON. The provocation began with accusation of exploitation and loss of direction in the so-called "Open Source" world, where even Web 2.0 -- whatever that is -- has become analogous with "Open Source" (APIs), even freedom.

Once upon a time, the term "open source" was coined to save the free-software world from itself--or, rather, from the free-software zealots, as you can read on the Open Source Initiative's Web site.

Today, I can't help but feel that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, where we're so self-satisfied with the money we're making off open source that we have neglected the essential freedoms that make open-source profit possible.


There are some more thoughts about it in the item whose title is "Open Source is no Web 2.0".

It is time we stop the term open source from getting hijacked. I recently wrote about how tech media doesn’t get open source. The events in the last week or so have confirmed my thesis further.

[...]

It is time for saner elements in the open source world to wake up and stop the abuse of the term open source by the tech media and companies like Microsoft. If we don’t do it now, the only other alternative is the free software movement and the business community may not be able to leverage the freedom offered by the free software then.


Finally, here is a very good assessment which explains what Microsoft tries to achieve by invading OSI.

Microsoft people love to overly complicate a simple concept, throw out a dozen definitions or more about one thing to confuse an audience, and then try to make people that believe that it is going to eat its own profits for lunch.

[...]

Does anybody out there think that Hilf is running some kind of separate agenda to Ballmer? Will Hilf's apparent efforts to bring about some change in Microsoft's business philosophy transcend Ballmer's policy? Dream on.

[...]

Just as a fighter plane throws out flares left and right in order to distract heat-seeking missiles, Microsoft throws out these morsels from time to time in order to try and unsettle its competitors. And it tries to win over those it can, using the one thing of which it has plenty - money.

And that's the only thing which Microsoft understands.


Returning to the main point of this post, recall that Novell, Xandros, and Linspire have become fairly bizarre Linux companies that mix proprietary code with open source. They truly blur the margin that exists between Free software and software that maintains lock-in and control.

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
 
Links 27/02/2024: PlayStation Layoffs and More Oppressive New Laws for Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/02/2024: Facebook as Containment Field and Depression Driven Development (DDD)
Links for the day
They're Adding Warnings Now: The Site "It's FOSS" is Not FOSS
It's better that they at least explicitly state this
Links 27/02/2024: Nevada Versus End-To-End Encryption, Birmingham Bankrupt
Links for the day
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 26/02/2024: Mastodon Trouble, RSS, and Zombie-scrolling
Links for the day
Links 26/02/2024: Suicide Crisis and Doctor Walkouts in South Korea
Links for the day
Why Do People Who Attack GNU/Linux Hate Women So Much?
My wife is being viciously targeted again
Ongoing Media Campaign, Sponsored by Bill Gates, to Portray Critics of Gates Crimes as "Conspiracy" Cranks
In prior years we wrote about this PR tactic of Gates
[Meme] Follow the Law, Not Corrupt Bosses
pressuring staff to break the rules to make more money
The EPO Uses Appraisals to Force Staff to Illegally Grant European Patents or Lose the Job. The Matter is Being Escalated en Masse to ILO-AT, Requesting a Review of Appraisal Reports.
it is only getting worse over time
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 25, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Chronic Pain and a Hall of the Broken Things
Links for the day
Links 25/02/2024: New Rants About 'Hey Hi' Hype and JavaScript Bloat
Links for the day
Going Static Helped the Planet, Too
As we've been saying since last year
Chris Rutter, Winchester College, Clare College choir, Arm Ltd, underage workers & Debian accidental deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Blocking Crawlers and Moving to gemserv
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 24, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, February 24, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day