Florian Cramer on Thu, 20 Dec 2001 02:28:29 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime>The Fading Altruism of Open Source

Am Wed, 19.Dec.2001 um 10:22:41 -0500 schrieb Felix Stalder:

> capitalist logic which says making money per se is good.  The
> transformation of resources and their impact is what really matters. And
> so far, I haven't seen anyone who could show the open source approach
> transfers time and money (or donated hardware if you prefer) into worse
> code or less code than the FSF approach.

By all probability not, because Free Software and Open Source are
technically the same - the "Open Source Definition" is almost identical to
the "Debian Free Software Guidelines" [and was drafted by the very same
author, Bruce Perens]. The both terms don't even describe differences in
development methodology. They are diverge in philosophical and political
terms: "Open Source" is, according to those who launched the term, about
technically better software ("software that sucks less"), "Free Software"
is about old-hacker-school freedom of information. -

It's quite ironical that other net cultures - such as this one here - has
gotten it the other way round.

Felix, one may of course say that the "Free Software" notion of freedom is
naive, but on the other hand the GNU-style "Free Software" movement
remains the only one to date that had a consistent agenda and politics
against the proprietarization of code and knowledge. (And many of those
who dismissed the FSF positions as obnoxious hippie fundamentalistm have
changed their mind since DMCA, DCSS and Sklyarov.)

The point is not that, say, "Linux" would stand (as "Open Source") against
"GNU" (as "Free Software"). The term "Open Source" was coined and
disseminated by Eric S. Raymond very late, in 1998, as a rebranding for
code that preceded the term for ears or even decades (including GNU,
Linux, BSD, Apache, Perl, sendmail etc.) and which had simply been called
Free Software before.


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