Use of "open source"

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Wed Jan 3 20:21:47 UTC 2007

DShofi at wrote:
> While I agree that license proliferation makes it harder to consolidate 
> code bases and determine license compatibility and while I understand the 
> usefulness of the OSI certification mark program, it seems that the OSI is 
> in no position to restrict anyone's labelling and use of a license as 
> "open source" that satisfies all of the definitional characteristics even 
> if it is not OSI approved.

No, it's not in such a position.  As I've said before on this list,
"open source" is not trademarked.  Thus, anyone *can* use it to describe
anything.  However, that doesn't mean it's *right* to do so.  I think
OSI, and most everyone in the open source community, would prefer the
term "open source" only be used with OSI-approved licenses.  Determining
what meets OSD is after all very subjective, and it is OSI's primary

Matthew Flaschen

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 252 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list