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(10 edits) (-3)

They created the term and, from what I remember, it would be a registered trademark if not for a whim of the trademark office deciding it was just a little too generic for them to feel comfortable granting a trademark registration for.

(“Creative Commons” wasn’t too generic.)

I believe it should be a standard term and, even if you disagree, a great deal of the term’s value comes from being basically identical to the definition of Free Software as defined by the FSF’s Four Software Freedoms and Debian Linux’s Debian Free Software Guidelines, except couched in more apolitical language, less confusable with “free as in price”, that companies can feel comfortable with.

Freedom 0 of the Four Software Freedoms is “The freedom to run the program for any purpose.” and point 6 of the DFSG is “No discrimination against fields of endeavor, like commercial use.”

Aside from that, culturally, it’s de facto standardized to be what’s laid out in the OSD and if you try to undermine its meaning like that, you’re just setting yourself up to be seen as a bad-faith actor who’s trying to cheat the system… similar to Microsoft’s “Shared Source” initiative.

(Or like the extreme feminists who get upset when their spin-doctoring of “feminism” backfires and people decide “I guess I was mistaken about being a feminist” and go looking for new words like “egalitarian” rather following along with the shifting definition of the word they originally chose.)

Fundamentally, the principles that were laid out are intended to allow software to behave like mathematics. You don’t get to use the pythagorean theorem for free normally, but have to pay a license fee if you decide to use it for NFT purposes.

If the OSI were to change the OSD to allow restrictions like that, it’s very likely that people would reject the changed version, declare the OSI to have become infiltrated by corporate influences, and start referring to the current version of the OSD (Version 1.9, last modified, 2007-03-22) as the authoritative definition of what “open source” is.


I'm sure we could have a fun debate about license technicalities or rms's and Kant's disregard to consequences. Nothing wrong with a small talk. It's just that I already don't know what your point is.

Also: your anti-feminist non sequitur is not appreciated

(4 edits)

I’m sure we could have a fun debate about license technicalities or rms’s and Kant’s disregard to consequences. Nothing wrong with a small talk. It’s just that I already don’t know what your point is.

My point is that “Open Source” has an agreed-upon definition and companies have a history of trying to language-lawyer and spin-doctor it in bad faith in the past (both directly and through terms like “Shared Source”, “Open Core”, etc.), so odds are that anyone who tries to argue the definition is just going to be assumed to be a bad-faith actor by the community at large.

Also: your anti-feminist non sequitur is not appreciated

I proudly call myself a feminist. My issue is with extremists (feminist or otherwise) ruining that and other terms for the rest of us in their attempts to “voodoo doll” people’s perceptions and affiliations by spin-doctoring the language.

In fact, if you look at it fully generally, it’s the same phenomenon which drives what Steven Pinker dubbed the euphemism treadmill. People keep trying to escape the bad associations of words but, because the “bad thoughts” and “bad intentions” (to borrow George Carlin’s phrasing) remain, the euphemism eventually takes on the same corrupted association as society acclimatizes to using it.

(In a sense, it’s yet another expression of humans looking for simple solutions to complex problems.)

I don’t believe it’s a non-sequitur because, from the beginning, I’ve been talking about terminology and how people see its use.

Likewise, I’ll readily admit that RMS is an extremist, and I think his argument that “Linux” should be called “GNU/Linux” is based on a deceptive and unhelpful definition of what is and isn’t part of an operating system and completely ignores the relationship between humans and syllable counts in English terms.

(Seriously. X11 contributes more to the platform than GNU, but he hand-waves that by declaring that you don’t need a GUI to self-host operating system development with console emacs and GCC (which is a not insignificant part of GNU’s size) counts as part of the OS despite not being installed on most systems unless you need it to compile the nVidia proprietary driver’s “GPL condom” because the definition of an OS is, according to him, everything you need to self-host its development and not one jot more. …and if you want to talk about it from a binary compatibility standpoint, then it should still be glibc/Linux or X11/Linux, not GNU/Linux.)

I like this guy.