Free software and open source philosophies differ sometimes with radically different outcomes

Adonay Felipe Nogueira adfeno at
Sat Nov 18 01:17:13 UTC 2017

I couldn't have said better. I fully agree with you on these points.

Thank you very much! ;)

hellekin <how at> writes:

> Hi Carsten, I think precisely the opposite, that words convey values,
> and the values in turn shape the meaning of words. Now we have a
> different situation from 1998, and from 2013 even, where I posted
> [some criticism of esr's famous open-source
> post](
> (The rest is more destined to the other readers on the list, since we
> had most of this discussion already recently.)
> Bruce Perens, whom we cannot blame for not knowing what he talks about
> concerning both Open Source and Free Software, recently wrote the
> following [On Usage of the Phrase Open
> Source](
>> "For a work to be Open Source, it must be entirely under a license
>    or licenses which comply with the Open Source Definition."
> And: 
>> "When “Open Source” is used as a descriptive term rather than a
>    proper name, it becomes a fuzzy reference to a development paradigm
>    with no concrete definition, rather than the specific set of
>    license rules in the Open Source Definition. So, it can be made to
>    mean just about anything. Don’t allow people to erode the
>    definition of Open Source."
> He concludes with:
>> It is unfortunate that for some time the Open Source Initiative
>   deprecated Richard Stallman and Free Software, and that some people
>   still consider Open Source and Free Software to be different things
>   today. I never meant it to be that way. Open Source was meant to be
>   a way of promoting the concept of Free Software to business people,
>   who I have always hoped would thus come to appreciate Richard and
>   his Free Software campaign. And many have. Open Source licenses and
>   Free Software licenses are effectively the same thing.
> Yet there are two things happening here -- as much as I respect Bruce,
> I tend to disagree with him on political perspectives (he's a Merkan,
> I'm a Yurpin, after all.) First, many respondents maintain that Open
> Source is different from "the specific set of license rules in the
> Open Source Definition", making it "a movement" or "an ideology",
> discontinued from [the OSD]( The second
> thing happening is of an order of magnitude more important to the
> current discussion: the milieu changed quite drastically...
> -----
> ### The license must not discriminate against any person or group of
>     persons.
> But that does not tell anything about how some Open Source software
> may discriminate against certain persons of groups of persons.
> -----
> In 2017, the arch-enemy of software freedom has turned an "Open Source
> company". This is quite significant, don't you think, that a company
> that spent so much energy denying software freedom and hating Open
> Source with a passion suddenly flips around and embrace Open
> Source. Not only embrace it, but quickly become "number one
> contributor to Open Source" (in number of developers) according to
> [Github statistics]( Guess what they
> contribute to? Their own environment, which has barely any overlaps
> with the rest of the free world. Who's going to use it? Not Free
> Software developers, or only marginally. Definitely M$ understood the
> meaning of Open Source, as they created its own subset, with only the
> handful of languages interesting to them, and only the subset of 2
> licenses they prefer: "MIT" (Expat license) and "Apache 2.0".
> A quick look at figures show that the GAFAM provide most contributions
> to Open Source software -- I repeat: big proprietary software
> companies, who also produce Open Source software, are actually the
> biggest contributors of OSS. Of course they are, since without them
> the vast majority of Free Software developers would have remained
> hobbyists at best, and starving hackers at worst; the gain is
> obvious. You can see Nadia Eghbert's latest presentations about
> funding Open Source: she clearly mentions the lack of financial
> support:
>> ### We don't think of the Open Source movement as an enemy. [The
>       enemy is proprietary
>       software](
> If you, on this list, still consider that Open Source and Free
> Software are the same, that it's only a question of label, and not a
> political question, and not a philosophical question, then you've
> fallen to an economic ideology propelled by finely crafted propaganda
> -- sorry,
> [meme-engineering](
> Forging words with definitive meaning, putting them into solid
> relations, and not questioning their meaning when the relations change
> is exactly why M$ can come into your playground and hit the ball
> without anyone yelling back at them to GTFO. PR has you at your most
> vulnerable point: you never wanted this antagonism in the first place,
> you just wanted to code, so your emotional response is welcoming. You
> also need to look beyond the smoke screen of "the victory of Open
> Source": meanwhile, the same companies continue practicing the same
> tactics with the same results, except now nobody's looking at them
> frowning, because now, they're 'Open Source', they're "with us".
> Capitalism has long been the master process to turn dissidence into
> sameness. When a RedHat lawyer needs a more neutral term, why does it
> need it anyway? Has Open Source become too compromised to satisfy the
> legal types? I don't think so. Has the world changed rapidly and,
> since 2008, realized there was a large conspiracy of (mostly U.S.)
> banksters and capitalism would never trickle down? Here in Europe, the
> commons have clearly evolved from marginal to mainstream, and to
> clearly anti-capitalists. But the discourse I hear from FSFE seems to
> be leaning another way, towards some very trendy 'apolitical stance'
> in sync with the Silicon Valley, and more generally coming from a
> comfortable privileged class of European (predominantly) white male
> software engineers. It's easy to claim to be apolitical when you have
> large disposable income and sit on top of the pyramid. I find it
> extremely uncomfortable to read many uncritical messages in this
> thread.
> Whether you like it or not we all live in a world where the enemies of
> freedom keep acting against freedom, spending millions at a time
> shaping a new reality in which you are not a threat. Mozilla ceased to
> be a threat, and the Linux kernel has not ever been one (Linux
> Torvalds managed to drive his Ferrari, and the GRSecurity patches
> became unavailable to the public), RedHat is creating its own software
> environment by cutting off the common space between the GNU/Linux and
> *BSD worlds, only on a smaller scale than M$ does so, following
> Apple. Google, Apple, Amazon, all have their own hardware so they can
> ensure a perfect fit for their (proprietary) software, and where you
> won't be able to remove the battery.
> So yes, the 2% discussion is useless, unless it makes people realize
> that what was true in 1998 still holds: either you talk about freedom,
> or you look away, leaving proprietary software companies create Open
> Source software and move further away from Free Software.  Or, we can
> think about what makes Free Software a natural choice to create a
> public digital infrastructure, that clearly shows how to distinguish
> between software that benefits subsidiarity and amplify human agency
> and action, from software that benefits oligopolies, power, and
> disable human action. Then what it is called won't matter, because
> everyone will know what the code stands for.
> ==
> hk

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