Definition of open source

Rick Moen rick at
Sat Nov 6 23:48:59 UTC 2004

Quoting James Harrell (jharrell at

> Unfortunately I doubt that the OS Definition is up for debate or
> revision. OS is like religion and politics <grin>. Every side is
> "right" because it is a belief and point of view, not a science. So
> perhaps the time has come to for a collaborative new organization for
> Commercial Open Source?

I feel like I'm channeling Captain Obvious, here, but it might help you
avoid making a serious strategic mistake:

If it's software under proprietary terms, please do not attempt to call
it open source.  That would be seen as deceptive and inappropriate.
Most likely, nobody would be able to prevent you legally from making
that mistake, but you would suffer a serious and permanent PR problem,
and be correctly perceived as attempting a parasitic relationship to the
genuine concept of open source.

> To the Open Source community- my intent here is not to trivialize or
> denegrate. I am a believer too.

Meaning no offence, but good intentions are a notorious booby-prize.  
I'd much rather that you have _evil_ intentions and not try to screw with
the open source community, if you're offering a choice.

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