Seven tests to determine whether that single-company-controlled project will deliver open source values to you or is just about delivering prospective customers to its host company.

Is that single-company-controlled project actually open source in the sense of delivering software freedoms to you or just about delivering control to its host company? Here are 7 tests.

The biggest threat from rampant violations of privacy is not the stuff they find out from you directly; it's what they can read between the lines given enough data from which to triangulate.

License compliance is not just a GPL issue and reciprocal licensing isn't your enemy.
(from the archives; maybe subscribe?)

When we ran one of the first staffed OSPOs at Sun 15 years ago, our focus was giving the community an advocate in the corporation.

Is your Open Source Program Office just part of your corporate defences, or is it the community’s advocate inside your company as well?

Using the term “permissive” as an antonym to “copyleft” – or “restrictive” as its synonym – are unhelpful framing. Describe license reciprocity instead. (from the archives)

Don't miss tomorrow's new article on "OSPOs as Community Advocates" - subscribe at to get it by e-mail so the tweet doesn't just fly by.

Corporate open source maturity may be better evaluated by considering the actions of individuals and small groups statistically than the stated corporate strategy.

New article Tuesday, on "Corporate Maturity As Stochastic Outcome". Subscribe now to get it e-mailed to you.

Choosing between licenses – even copyleft vs non-reciprocal – is less important than ensuring everyone has equal rights & responsibilities.

You're e-mailing a document that most people will just read, but you know one or two will want the editable version. Did you know you can send a PDF that has the source document embedded within?

Interoperability is primarily a matter of the use case, not of the technology. Policymakers considering interoperability mandates need to be watchful for extremes of perfection or compromise, which both offer a game to be exploited by the unscrupulous.

Sometimes you have to look away from your own interests and consider the interests of others in order to succeed. (from the archives)

Random code liberation has always been & will remain a hallmark of open source. Borrowing portions of great code is an intended mode for software freedom & not an artefact. Leaving it available is essential. Fauxpen-source licenses largely don't.

I don't get invited to speak at Open Forum Europe events (I guess I am not "safe") but they have a new "Lounge" series starting today on open source and standards. I'm expecting them to say "open" a lot without realising the two constituencies mean different things by it, so I have written a short article to explain.

You may have noticed I'm writing more again. If you'd like to get new writing as a newsletter so you don't miss the toot, please subscribe at

Asserting open source and open standards are related is a common trope that has endured for decades, but it’s basically untrue. People that say they are similar either have little experience of one, or are pushing an agenda that requires the assumption.

This week on FLOSS Weekly I'll be joining Doc Searls to interview Roberto di Cosmo from Software Heritage - smart guy, super organisation, should be a fine conversation.

Show older

Mastodon for Art