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Scott Shreeve, MD

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Open Source 2.0: Return of the Jedi

Jedi (jed ī) n.

1. Keepers of the peace of an ancient and noble monastic organization
2. Possess an innate ability to tap into the “force”, an incorporeal energy field generated by all living organisms and permeating the universe and all things within.
3. Members of the Jedi order fight for peace, justice, and open source

A few months ago, I posted some of my growing concerns about the dilution of the term “open source” and the ongoing irrelevance of the Open Source Institute. Seems this was a pervasive feeling in the open source community such that Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s VP of Community Affairs, and the current president of the OSI, determined it was time to “stand up” to the misappropriators (paraphrase and highlights added):

Dana Blankenhorn’s story has finally pushed me to respond to the many people who have asked “When is the OSI going to stand up to companies who are flagrantly abusing the term ‘open source’?” The answer is: starting today.

This was certainly not the first attack we ever had to repel, but it is the first time we have had to confront agents who fly our flag as their actions serve to corrupt our movement. The time has come to bring the matter into the open, and to let the democratic light of the open source community illuminate for all of us the proper answer.

Open Source has grown up. Now it is time for us to stand up. I believe that when we do, the vendors who ignore our norms will suddenly recognize that they really do need to make a choice: to label their software correctly and honestly, or to license it with an OSI-approved license that matches their open source label.

Please join me, stand up, and make your voice heard–enough is enough.

Slashdot, Matt Asay, Glyn Moody, and a host of others immediately picked up on the story. I thought Glyn did a particularly nice job of solidly demarcating the transition to Open Source 2.0 with this move by the OSI. We all agree it is long overdue. There are a lot of misappropriators of the term who “fly the flag as their actions serve to corrupt the movement.” I will be interested to see how the OSI implements this new approach, and how the community serves to police itself going forward. Enough
is Enough.

Will look forward to some open source chaneling from the Jedi masters. May the (f/s)ource be with you, Michael.

PS – Stallman WAS right.

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