[sclug] Cheap'n'nasty Tesco Linux machines

Tom Carbert-Allen tom at randominter.net
Wed Apr 9 09:57:16 UTC 2008

My point was that 'open source' purely means something to which the 
internal construction is available freely, not the name of a bunch of 
guys who started a foundation. I now find myself in the very rare and 
un-comfortable place of saying the US patent office seems to have done 
something correctly by refusing the patent. In my mind the terms open 
source/free source/public domain code etc all mean pretty much the same 
and represent a catagrory not a method or product, so to put the 
ownership of one of them to a group of guys, no matter how good there 
intentions, seems incorrect. I have no objections with them promoting 
the good name of the cause, but to claim ownership of any term unless 
it's a new name they have come up with for software they have written 
then it seems a little weak.


Philip Hands wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 06:44:30PM +0000, Dickon Hood wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 18:12:59 +0000, Tom Carbert-Allen wrote:
>> : originator? does someone claim title to the concept of open source 
>> : software? If so, I don't accept this. Are you talking about this Eric 
>> : Raymond bloke that someone else mentioned?
>> Eric Raymond invented the term, and trademarked it.  Accept it or not,
>> it's what happened.
> Erm, well, a group of people (ESR, Bruce Perens, Tim O'reily, possibly
> others, I forget) got together and scratched their heads about the fact
> that US industry seemed to shy away from Free Software, and came up with
> the theory that US Industry thought we were a bunch of shifty pinkos
> who clearly didn't value rapacious capitalism enough to be trusted.
> So they came up with "Open Source" as a new label to paste over the
> scary Free Software that was printed on the box.  At the time I thought
> it was a clever wheeze, but since have noticed that it's way to open
> (sic) to abuse by people that are not our friends.  It seems that Bruce
> has also come to the same conclusion, and has reverted to Free Software
> as his preferred term.
> Of course, the Open Source Initiative, who's primary purpose for existence
> was to hold the trademark, has been looking for something useful to do
> ever since, given that the trademark application _was_ _rejected_ by the
> US Patent Office.
> There is no trademark in the term Open Source.
> Cheers, Phil.

More information about the Sclug mailing list