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[DotGNU]Re: "Open source" is not what we do here

From: Tony Stanco
Subject: [DotGNU]Re: "Open source" is not what we do here
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 08:48:22 -0500

>    When I use the term Open Source, I use it in the way it was
>    originally intended, as a marketing vehicle to get people who are
>    not familiar with Free Software to Free Software.
>If you want to do that, we can't stop you, but don't expect the Free
>Software Movement to be appreciative.  If you use the term "open
>source" you will direct everyone's attention towards the Open Source
>Movement and away from us.  This happens to us constantly and we
>struggle against it steadfastly.  The danger of being co-opted and
>forgotten is great.  Please do not contribute to what we have to
>struggle against.


I don't use the term to direct people's attention to Open Source. Their
attention is already there. I use that pre-existing attention to get my
message across about using GPL software.

In my opinion, changing the development paradigm needs to be the main goal,
anyway. Unless the paradigm is changed, both names are irrelevant. Once the
GPL is the paradigm, we can worry about the name. But once the GPL is the
paradigm, the naming will naturally fall to you. That's because you are the
author of the GPL, and Eben and the FSF are the enforcers. No one will have
more legitimacy or authority.

I understand your concerns about Open Source. I share them. What they did to
you was totally unethical. That is why I joined the Free Software camp not
theirs when I researched the movement in the beginning. It's your movement
in my opinion because it is your GPL.

But it's the GPL that needs to win. Let's concentrate on that first. By
doing that we stop wasting all this energy on the names and swell our ranks
substantially while we fight proprietary. Once the battle with proprietary
is done, we can fight about who really came up with the GPL and, therefore,
really won the war. That will be a short second battle in my opinion,
because there is little question about the parentage of the GPL.

If it wasn't so hard to get people to listen to the GPL message when calling
it Free Software from the start, I would continue using it with the non
developers, but I found that they never let me get to the importance of the
GPL because of the confusion engendered by the term. [I do use Free Software
with people that understand the difference, but those are generally only
developers, and I am dealing less with them these days].  It is important
that you and Eben stick to calling it Free Software, but I find I need more
latitude for the time being, if our purpose is to win as quickly as

As for your fear of being forgotten, I think it is totally misplaced. There
can be no victory without the GPL. And there would be no GPL without you.
That's the syllogism that can't be erased no matter how much they try.
That's the syllogism that gets you into the history books. Let the logic of
that put your mind at easy. It's irrefutable, no matter how much people want
to resist it.

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