ZDNet article - why attribution matters

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Nov 28 05:51:16 UTC 2006

Quoting Matt Asay (mjasay at gmail.com):

> > http://linuxmafia.com/faq/RedHat/rhel-rebuild.html
> Asay:  The fact that you have to point to an outside source proves
> John's point.  He's not trying to beat up on Red Hat, but rather show
> that some of our sacred cows (and trust me, I esteem Red Hat very
> highly) don't meet the bar this list seems to want to put on
> attribution.

I admire good examples of non-sequitur argumentation mightily, and so
_do_ appreciate your contribution.

> ASAY:  If that's the case, then I guess Red Hat isn't an open source
> company, because John is describing Red Hat's model.

I'll immediately FedEx you a shiny nickel if you can cite to me _any_
software src.rpm package in the current RHEL4 release that is under any
proprietary licence.  (Please note that packages redhat-logos and
anaconda-images are not software.)

> > Fallacy of argumentum ad populam.  Strike three.
> ASAY:  Actually, the strike here is that in one breath John talks about a
> cabal (OSI), but doesn't recognize that if OSI is to be faulted on this
> issue, it's for following the (apparent) crowd.
No, actually I meant by argumentum ad populam exactly what it means.

> ASAY:  Actually, I don't think John needs to threaten anything (nor do I
> think he was).  The fact is, "open source" is not owned by OSI.

The fact is, "open source" in the software context was originated and is
legimately defined by OSI.  And they're the _nice_ people.  You really
don't want to piss off the rest of the open source world by making what
amounts to a fraudulent and misleading claim to be open source, when you
are not.  The PR debacle will be serious and never-ending.
> > And don't try to hustle the OSI, John.  You'll just waste everyone's
> > time and look silly in public.
> ASAY:  I think you're being unfair and rude, Rick.

(Gosh, that wouldn't have _anything_ to do with your being VP of
Business Development for Alfresco, would it?)

If my arguments lack merit, you need only disprove them.  I can't help
noticing that you're so far not bothering, but rather are floating
yet more special pleadings and attacking the critic.

And I was certainly being more polite to John than his insultingly
feeble series of propaganda come-ons merited, which is more than I will
generally be to people who think "open source" is legitimately anyone's
to redefine at will.  That would seem to include you and your employer,
for example.

Cheers,     "In 1993, the World-Wide Web was an infosystem based on hypertext.
Rick Moen    In 1994, the World-Wide Web was an infosystem based on hype."
rick at linuxmafia.com                                       -- Lars Aronsson

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