The 2% discussion - "Free Software" or "Open Source Software"

Adonay Felipe Nogueira adfeno at
Thu Nov 16 17:56:58 UTC 2017

Indeed, not all people in favor of lax/permissive licenses are "open
source" proponents, because these people might as well shift their views
in favor of copyleft licensing depending on how important the project

Also, just because a project denotes itself as "open source", this
doesn't mean that it follows only the "open source" development model
--- nor it means that it follows such ideology, specially considering
that I was made aware that people who are not proponents of that
methodoly (those that don't follow the Open Source Initiative's Open
Source Definition), have been using this term to do some "openwashing"
and ultimately luring people on getting a "premium"/"commercial" edition
of some product ([1][2]).

For me, at least, the whole "open source" is "openwashing". ;)

Besides, there are some points which, as far as I know, the Open Source
Initiative's Open Source Definition doesn't address. In particular, it
doesn't seem to describe the instance of "open source" in regards to
ruinous compromises, digital handcuffs, non-shareable non-functional
data, state's technological sovereignty (vs. "technological
neutrality"), services as software substitutes, proprietary formats,
privacy, democracy, computers for voting, surveillance, education and
communication centralization --- these are items which are up to each
person to "augment" to their personal view of "open source".

Finally, with the assumption that a term used by a given project isn't
enough to immediately qualify it as being in favor of open source or as
a project that follows the free/libre software philosophy, then such
evaluation is left for those who periodically have contact with the
project's development or that are able to study decisions taken by such
project. Once again, the evalutor's view of "open source" comes into

[1] <>.

[2] <>.

Jonas Oberg <jonas at> writes:

> Hi Adonay,
> I would posit though that to the extent there's a difference between two
> groups (I'm not convinced there are, at least not so distinctly), then the
> difference is not between whether they use "Free Software" or "Open Source"
> as a term, but precisely the differences you mention.
> It would seem irrefutable there are groups which prefer permissive licensing,
> and there are groups which prefer copyleft licensing. But it seems divisive
> and unnecessary to ascribe on those groups some general views of what term
> they may or may not use.

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