Can anyone say his or her software is open source?

David Johnson david at
Wed Oct 31 03:24:40 UTC 2001

On Friday 30 November 2001 03:31 pm, Tina Gasperson wrote:
> ACARA ( is a program
> originally developed by NASA. ACARA is now being handled by the Open
> Channel Foundation ( ACARA's license
> terms
> (
>icense_id=20) violate at least three points of the Open Source definition
> (AFAIK, IANAL), yet the Open Channel Foundation claims all of the software
> it distributes is open source.
> Is this OK from a legal standpoint?

It's legally okay to use the term "Open Source Software" without getting 
permission from anyone. But some uses of "Open Source Software" can be 
considered misrepresentation or fraud, activities that are illegal. The 
software they are selling is not Open Source Software, yet they claim that it 
is. That's fraud in my book.

There's no trademark on the term "wool carpet", yet if I sold you a wool 
carpet that was really acrylic, I would be in a world of legal hurt.

David Johnson
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