Use of "open source" in website name

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Jun 12 16:38:56 UTC 2008

Beth scripsit:

> A web developer I know wants to register an available domain
> "", this site has nothing to do with
> software but the site is a commercial, for profit venture.
> I've indicated that I thought it might be inappropriate to use the name.

Nobody *owns* the term "open source", so there is no legal issue.

Ethically, nobody should use it in a way that could reasonably be confused
with the software term.  There are already such uses: in intelligence
work, an "open source" is a source of information that anyone can obtain,
like a newspaper.

> Is this a questionable use of the term "open source" ?

Without knowing what is meant by it, nobody can say.

I am expressing my opinion.  When my            John Cowan
honorable and gallant friend is called,         cowan at
he will express his opinion.  This is 
the process which we call Debate.                   --Winston Churchill

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