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Open Source

'Open Source Initiative' President Interviewed by Linux Journal (linuxjournal.com) 14

The newly-relaunched Linux Journal just interviewed the Open Source Initiative's president, Simon Phipps. An anonymous reader summarizes the highlights: Phipps collects no salary -- unlike the executive director of the Linux Foundation, who reportedly received over $300,000 in 2010. "We're a very small organization actually", Phipps said. "We have a board of directors of 11 people and we have one paid employee..." But he explains their importance by citing the controversy over Facebook's original licensing for React. "I think prior to that, people felt it was okay for there just to be a license and then for there to be arbitrary additional terms applied. I think that the consensus of the community has moved on from that."

Phipps is proud of the OSI's independence from corporate sponsors. "If you want to join a trade association, that's what the Linux Foundation is there for. You can go pay your membership fees and buy a vote there, but OSI is a 501(c)(3). That's means it's a charity that's serving the public's interest and the public benefit. It would be wrong for us to allow OSI to be captured by corporate interests." The article notes that most issues are resolved publicly, adding that one big concern is "freeware" -- proprietary software offered at no cost but erroenously marketed as open source. "In those cases, OSI definitely will reach out and contact the offending companies, and as Phipps says, 'We do that quite often, and we have a good track record of helping people understand why it's to their business disadvantage to behave in that way.'"

And he's also seeking warmer relations with the Free Software community. "As I've been giving keynotes about the first 20 years and the next ten years of open source, I've wanted to make very clear to people that open source is a progression of the pre-existing idea of free software, that there is no conflict between the idea of free software and the way it can be adopted for commercial or for more structured use under the term open source."

He cites the OSI's collaboration with the Free Software Foundation Europe on amicus briefs in important lawsuits, which he says address "significant issues, including privacy and including software patents...

"I hope in the future that we'll be able to continue cooperating and collaborating."
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'Open Source Initiative' President Interviewed by Linux Journal

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    As I've been giving keynotes about the first 20 years and the next ten years of open source, I've wanted to make very clear to people that open source is a progression of the pre-existing idea of free software, that there is no conflict between the idea of free software and the way it can be adopted for commercial or for more structured use under the term open source.

    Open Source is about decisions making business sense. Free Software is about ethical decisions. Ethicality focuses on the common good, business sense focuses on one's own good. It's like trying to sell China on the business sense of individual freedom and calling that "a progression of the idea of freedom".

    Both can be aligned, and where good laws and markets and consumers reign, that may be more so the case than elsewhere. But putting the cart before the horse stops working once both happen to go into d

    • And free software doesn't even discriminate against business decisions. Contrary to some of the FUD posted on sites like /., free software licenses (even strongly-copylefted free software licenses such as the GNU GPL) don't prohibit money-making. But the free software movement doesn't consider business interests above all else, nor should it. The free software movement is (as the parent, sadly anonymous, poster said) an ethics-based social movement. The principal decision concerns how to treat others proper

  • The article notes that most issues are resolved publicly, adding that one big concern is "freeware" -- proprietary software offered at no cost but erroenously marketed as open source.

    ...is that some of us are old enough to remember that freeware actually means the same thing as open source. When Jay Lucas coined the term in Infoworld he was discussing programs that came with source code and encouraged modification. It wasn't until later that also-rans popped up and decided they wanted to label their product

  • And he's also seeking warmer relations with the Free Software community. "As I've been giving keynotes about the first 20 years and the next ten years of open source, I've wanted to make very clear to people that open source is a progression of the pre-existing idea of free software, that there is no conflict between the idea of free software and the way it can be adopted for commercial or for more structured use under the term open source."

    This, sir, is a deliberate lie. Open Source predates both the OSI and the OSI members' imaginings of coining the phrase, and Free Software is a progression of the idea of Open Source, and not the other way around. If you want warmer relations with the Free Software community, you're going to have to stop telling lies. For one, stop telling the lie that Open Source and Free Software are the same thing, because they are not.

    Open Source protects the interests of developers, while Free Software protects the int

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