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Re: "Open Source" is vague term referring to guns, wine, spirituality, e

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Re: "Open Source" is vague term referring to guns, wine, spirituality, etc.
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2022 09:10:04 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.2.0 (2022-02-12)

* Valentino Giudice <> [2022-03-15 01:02]:
> > That is what you say, though objectively, legally and protectively, it
> > is not the reality.
> Legally and protectively "free software" doesn't have more meaning
> or value than "open source". Possibly less.

It has because free software refers to exact freedoms for clients.

What is Free Software? - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation

To keep a concept well understood in public one need not have a
registered trademark. One has to communicate to help people
understand reasons on what is free software. In real life and when
explaining it to layman, I need usually not more than just 1 (one)
minute to give them understanding what "free software" means. I do
explain it practically in life to layman who wonder why I am using
free software and not proprietary software. Usually I tell them that I
did not have license or permission to change, modify the software and
inspect it, thus I can't know what it does to my data on phone or
computer. People get insight and that is where it becomes clear that
free software allows freedom not otherwise given. Hundreds of people
have installed free software because of simple explanations. 

In free software movement we do not orient ourselves so much
commercially, we do not protect ourselves, and GNU members and FSF
does not protect itself, rather, they protect freedom for users by
advocating about free software.

To contrary, OSI has tendencies to protect itself as organization as
authoritative body over all of the free software, also taking credits
for what it is not due. OSI has taken a lot of credits from Stallman's
free software philosophy. 

Related to trademarks, to protect a trademark one need not have a
registered trademark. That is major principle of trademark law. Though
it is not related to free software. It is better registering, as it
becomes evidence, though without registering one can freely use own
trademarks and also protect them, there is just little bit more work
about it.

> You made a claim that that particular piece of software is open source. I
> said the claim is wrong. For that to be the case, "open source" doesn't
> need to be a trademark and calling that piece of software "open source"
> doesn't need to be illegal. You are moving the goalpost to something I
> never said.

I agree it does not need to be a trademark. What we have to see here
is that words "open source" are used in vague manner. I have
demonstrated that software is calledopen source and in the same time
it is proprietary software:

WWBN/AVideo: Create Your Own Broadcast Network With AVideo Platform 
Open-Source. OAVP OVP

This is because "open source" is and can be used in vague manner to
profit out of it or gain benefits.

In free software movement trademark law is not used to protect
software. OSI has quite wrong approach in it and I do not join to
goals and purposes of that organization.

What is used to protect free software is GNU GPL license and other
free software licenses. That is copyright law. Not trademark law. 

What matters is what is the substance of it, and not how you call it.

Libreplanet advises members not to use "Open" when referring to
software, please see:

Being respectful doesn't mean sacrificing our core ideals; we should
always frame the issues we work on in terms of those ideals. That
means using language that foregrounds freedom, like referring to the
operating system we promote as "GNU/Linux", talking about free
software rather than open source, and encouraging people to try
distributions that are fully committed to freedom.

>From above:

“Free software.” “Open source.” If it's the same software (or nearly
so), does it matter which name you use? Yes, because different words
convey different ideas. While a free program by any other name would
give you the same freedom today, establishing freedom in a lasting way
depends above all on teaching people to value freedom. If you want to
help do this, it is essential to speak of “free software.”

> > The term "open source" is used in vague manner all over the world in
> > various applications including those which are not software. And by my
> > previous example it is used in case of proprietary software.
> You made a positive claim that that software qualifies as open source. If
> we work under the assumption that "open source" has no meaning, then your
> claim makes no sense. The absolute most widespread and widely recognized
> meaning of "open source" is that which OSI uses, or something very similar,
> and is definitely not synonymous with "source available", or broad enough
> to include that piece of software.

That is your opinion about widely recognized meaning, keep it so,
though I don't agree. Many software developers do not even know about
OSI, neither it is important. Damage has been already done.

I have many examples of "open source" used in quite different context,
and I do not want to make it vague for people. I teach people about
free software, not about "open source" as it has different meanings
with different goals.

> Since we are talking about a piece of software, specifically, the
> meaning of "open source" in other sectors is entirely irrelevant.

Because "open source" is vague, I cannot know what person means when
it is mentioned. It brings more discussion than it is necessary. It
brings confusion.

> > In GNU project we do not use "Open Source" or "Open" when referring to
> > "Free Software":
> I never suggested that you use the term "Open Source" to refer to free
> software, just that you also do not use it to refer to proprietary software.
> Doing so isn't illegal, it's just incorrect.

I have shown you that it is correct as people do refer to proprietary
software with "open source", you can fight as much as you wish with
me. Me as such I am not relevant there, that is how people use the
term, vaguely. And that happens because "open source" promotes
different goals, it does not transmit idea properly. You fight against
objectively found case when people use "open source" for proprietary
software. And you still can't "take it" though it is real. You are
going against windmills. Damage has been done by those promoting "open
source" and is not easily reparable.

It is difficult to fight on LibrePlanet to promote "open source" as a
term, as the agreement and code of conduct is that we should not
promote that vague term.

In LibrePlanet there are different values involved, not the value of
OSI definition.

We have values of free software, then we have Free System Distribution
Guidelines as more practical and tactical set of policies:

Look at the list of non-free software packages:

Some of them are using "Open" and "open source" in promotion, though
we don't consider it enough free for free software distributions.

Example entry:

Description: printer drivers
Problem: Suggests that the user download nonfree Binary Plug-In for some 
Recommended Fix: Modify hp-setup and hp-plugin to not recommend non-free 
Copyright file: in Trisquel
(Source) package name(s): hplip 

Another example is using "open source" by OpenOffice and Apache:

| used a single open-source license

Though there are clear freedom issues:
Description: Office suite.
Problem: (1) Recommends non-free software. (extensions)

    (2) Has non-free components (Artistic License).

Recommended Fix: Use LibreOffice. (Primary)

    (1) Change link to point to the LibrePlanet list of extensions. (Alternate)
    (2) Remove the non-free components from source. (Alternate)

That should be enough evidences for researcher that "open source"
moves to quite different goals deviating from freedom.

Another analysis resulting that "open" should not be used to refer to
free software is on the following page:

- No license
- Aladdin Free Public License
- Anti-996 License
- Anti-Capitalist Software License
- Apple Public Source License (APSL), version 1.x
- Apple Public Source License (APSL), version 1.x
- Artistic License 1.0
- AT&T Public License
- Code Project Open License, version 1.02
- Commons Clause
- CNRI Digital Object Repository License Agreement
- eCos Public License, version 1.1
- The Hippocratic License 1.1
- GPL for Computer Programs of the Public Administration
- Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (HESSLA)
- Jahia Community Source License
- The JSON License
- Old license of ksh93
- License of Lha
- Microsoft's Shared Source CLI, C#, and Jscript License
- NASA Open Source Agreement, see:
  example is that it is "OSI approved" license, but not free software
- Oculus Rift SDK License
- Open Public License
- Peer-Production License
- Personal Public License Version 3a
- License of PINE
- Old Plan 9 license
- Reciprocal Public License
- Scilab license
- Scratch 1.4 license
- Simple Machines License
- Old Squeak license
- Sun Community Source License
- Sun Solaris Source Code (Foundation Release) License, Version 1.1
- Sybase Open Watcom Public License version 1.0
- SystemC “Open Source” License, Version 3.0
- Truecrypt license 3.0
- University of Utah Research Foundation Public License
- YaST License

The above references should be enough for public and developers to
understand that using the term "open" brings confusion and problems.

We use free software freedom principles to distinguish between
proprietary and free software. It is method to distinguish if software
is free or not.

We do not use "open" as method, as it has already unclear definitions
and proprietary licensing cases under that term "open" and "open
source"; it does not guarantee that software is free. Using the term
"open source" is not a good method to transmit to other party that we
speak of free software.


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