Bonum Certa Men Certa

OSI Did Not Guard the Open Source Brand; Now Its Own Name, Open Source Initiative, is Being 'Diluted' and “Open Source” is Almost Meaningless



Openwashing Report part IV

Part I: Openwashing Report: 'Open Source' Without Any or Most of the Benefits Part II: Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other 'Open' Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom Part III: Microsoft is Not an Open Source Authority But an Opponent of Open Source

Weekly openwashing report



Summary: The term or the brand “Open Source” is becoming worthless because those who use it typically engage in production of proprietary software falsely marketed as “Open Source” (that's what openwashing is inherently about)

THIS is the closing part of this weekend's series, the Openwashing Report. Like we said at the start (part I), at one point we shall classify and likely catalogue some of the openwashing patterns in order to highlight the threats they pose to Software Freedom. It is a growing danger. It needs to be deconstructed and explained. Examples from the news help.



"...the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative."Several days ago "Open Source Insider" did its usual thing; it covers proprietary software again. We think we know who's behind it. "Open Source Insider" used to be published with a person's name, but after spreading lies like "Microsoft loves Linux" and facing scrutiny for it that author threatened us and then "Open Source Insider" became nameless. It's nowadays published anonymously and it's a source of openwashing. It almost never covers actual Free software. It's a corporate blog of Computer Weekly (like Linux.com under the new editorship).

But anyway, this has sadly become the norm; the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative.

“Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC.”Take for example Linux.com. It's being managed by the corrupt Corporate Linux Foundation (Zemlin PAC). Zemlin PAC is just "influence for sale", including articles for sale at Linux.com (puff pieces for corporations are up for sale!); "give us money, then tell us what to write/do" is the business model. Corrupt. Yes, for sure...

Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC. Days ago this was still mentioned in the media, e.g. in "Tech stars on the Academy's open source red carpet" and "Microsoft, Apple Join Open-Source Efforts at Academy Software Foundation" (they don't frame this correctly; this is classic influence-buying).

Does OSI speak for Open Source? Or does the money speak?

Does Stallman speak for FSF (and GNU)? Not anymore.

Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?

Those are serious questions. They're only partly rhetorical, but they oughtn't be.

The OSI is losing its identity. Out-shimmered? See this new article entitled "Open-source initiative paving way for wearable sensor standards" (OSI name collision?)

“Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?”Here's another one, "Shimmer launches 'Open Source Initiative for Healthcare Wearable Sensor Algorithms'"

From Bio-IT World we have a similar (almost identical) headline because it's a press release, "Shimmer Announces Launch of Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative for Wearable Sensor Algorithms"

"This one looks like a call for things that might turn out to be Free/Open Source later," one person told us. "Of interest? They're calling it "Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative" so there is potential brand dilution going on. That's a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI's name."

The press release in question says the "[i]nitiative will enable the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data" and towards the middle it says the "new initiative seeks to develop a curated set of open source algorithms and software tools for analyzing wearable sensor data that will be available to all medical device and pharmaceutical companies in a pre-competitive environment as a service to the industry. It will allow the work conducted by thousands of researchers during the past decade to be leveraged to create commonly-accepted de facto industry standards."

“They're calling it "Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative" so there is potential brand dilution going on. That's a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI's name.”
      --Anonymous
We mentioned that at one point. From their original page: "Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data.

"The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in clinical trials."

There's also this: "Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data. The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in Clinical Trials. [...] Shimmer is reaching out to Clinical Trials sponsors and wearable sensor developers to join us in this initiative."

It's like another OSI, but this one managed by a corporation.

Going back to Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation), is there any community role in it? No, none. The Board is nothing but corporate sponsors.

“Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?”
      --Anonymous
Our reader asked: "Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?

"Neither did I...

From this article: "Best known for its stellar work in open source software, most notably its operating system, the Linux Foundation..."

"Open source has taken nearly every sector IT by storm, but it took networking a comparably large amount of time to embrace it," it says. "But, with the fast adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network management products like SD-WAN, open source finally found a place in IP routing and networkers appear to love it as much as everyone else."

Last week we wrote about the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which isn't too far from the Open Networking Summit (ONS) -- the subject of the above article.

"This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem..."The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) does openwashing for malicious telecoms such as Comcast (still). Surveillance DCs and routing get spun as "open" because of partial code releases or rather code sharing among the large telecoms. How about these new articles [1, 2] entitled "Comcast rolling out open source network software in multiple markets" and "Comcast Rolls Out ONF's Trellis Open Source Networking Fabric"?

Now come the Zemlin PAC openwashing services for these spying telecoms: "Open Source LF Networking Projects Enter the Commercialization Phase, Supported by a Growing Global Ecosystem"

"Ecosystem" is a term that Stallman strongly opposes and has long warned about. This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem...

Conflating standards (or code-sharing or "interoperability") with "Open Source" isn't a new thing. But this is what happens here, as this new article makes more apparent. "Worse," it says, "most vendors are not following the guidelines and specifications developed by the ETSI Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG), or any other standards, she noted."

So they don't even stick to the most basic and fundamental baseline!

Here come the networking openwashers ("More Than Just Code: Open Networking Early Adopters Share Lessons Learned"); let's make "Open Source" not about code; it's about talking.

"We think that the term "Open Source" is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom."When you cannot even tell the difference (anymore) between standards and actual Software Freedom a situation such as this comes about: "The era of software-defined, cloudified networks has begun and promises a higher degree of automation, more flexibility and time to market improvements. This brings together two traditionally separated worlds – CSPs, who are used to technology alignment within standardisation bodies, and the software business, which is often driven by de-facto vendor standards or open source communities."

So it's about standardisation mostly.

We think that the term "Open Source" is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom. Nothing. The marketing industry is taking over the term for openwashing (here are examples from last week [1, 2, 3]). To make matters worse, the biggest proprietary software companies nowadays call themselves "open"; here's a new example of openwashing and cloudwashing of Sage. It's proprietary software, but the company wants to be seen differently, helped by buzzwords ("Sage gets cloudy, moves towards open source and microservices"). Here's another new example of a company trying get some openwashing PR value out of proprietary software of SAP. "The operator is taking baby steps," it says, "using open source to complement rather than replace its existing OSS/BSS."

"Times aren't good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes."So it stays proprietary. They all do. They just use the term "Open Source" in headlines as that helps confuse people (the title above is "RJio Takes Baby Steps With Open Source for OSS/BSS").

OSI failed to enforce and protect the brand. The PAC of Jim Zemlin, a marketing person, has no interest in protecting this brand; instead it's being sold down the river. All the code is being handed over to Microsoft in its proprietary software platform, GitHub.

Times aren't good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
 
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Links 18/07/2024: Retroactively Pseudonymised Litigant and Alberta’s Energy ‘War Room’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/07/2024: A Welcome to Gemini and Politics of Assassinations
Links for the day
Fabian Gruenbichler & Debian: former GSoC student added to keyring
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day