Can anyone say his or her software is open source?

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Tue Oct 30 23:57:09 UTC 2001

On Fri, 30 Nov 2001, Tina Gasperson wrote:

> Does a license have to comply with the published requirements
> ( in order for the distributor
> or creator of the software to call it open source?

No.  It is encouraged socially to 'help the end user' by using the Open
Source Initiative's definition of 'open source software' in deciding
whether to call one's own software such, but there is no legal impetus
to do so.

The Open Source Initiative owns the servicemark "OSI Approved Open
Source Software," and that is all.

> disclaimer: This is a possible NewsForge story; if you don't want to be
> quoted please say so in your reply.

Feel free to quote me.  Better yet, take a look in the archives for the
instance (last week? earlier this week) of a company calling their
software 'open source.'
 Matthew Weigel
 Research Systems Programmer
 mcweigel at ne weigel at

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