“Nope-in Source”

May 3, 2019 § Leave a comment

Main Entry: nope-in source
Pronunciation: /nōp in sôrs/
Function: noun
Etymology: a term invented by Patrick Masson for a presentation at The 15th International Conference on Open Source Systems.
Date: 3 May 2019

: A description of software that invokes (or even claims to advance) open source software and/or development, the open source ethos, or open ideals, but lacks the full freedoms required by the Open Source Definition (specifically Criteria 5 and 6) by placing restrictions on use or users.
synonyms: see fauxpen source, open core,
antonyms: see OSI Approved Open Source License
examples: Commons Clause, Do No Harm, Qabel Public License (QPL),

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Do No Harm License Harms Open Source

September 12, 2018 § Leave a comment

HarmI was recently made aware of the Do No Harm software license, which according to its authors is, “a license for developers who write open source code to make the world a better place.” The license is based on the BSD 3-clause license, but with specific exclusions for using the licensed code to promote or profit from:

  • violence, hate and division,
  • environmental destruction,
  • abuse of human rights,
  • the destruction of people’s physical and mental health

Apparently a discussion among the authors broke out on whether or not the label “open source software can be used in conjunction with this license.”

The “Do No Harm” license should not be labeled as an open source license (which to be fair, it does not appear to be referenced as such in the license text), and the software distributed with such a license should not be labeled as, “open source software”, although I fear some future project distributed under the “Do No Harm” license will identify itself as an “open source software project”.

(One interesting note, we had a similar issue with a license written by Qabel).

Specific to the question, “whether the term open source software can be used in conjunction with this license,” it should not.

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Where are my blog posts?

January 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

Wondering why (grateful) I’ve gone silent?

See here.

Comments to the FCC, RE: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, Proceeding # 14-28

June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington D.C. 20554

June 6, 2014

Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O’Reilly:

My name is Patrick Masson and for the past twenty years I have worked in various roles within Information Technology, including as Chief Information Officer at the State University of New York College of Technology at Delhi, Chief Technology Officer within the University of Massachusetts’ Office of the President, and currently as the General Manager, Director and Secretary to the Board of the Open Source Initiative. I am also an elected Board Member of the North Colonie School Board, in Colonie, New York.

It is from this perspective, with over 20 years of experience in technology, but not as a representative of any of my former or current employers, that I write to express my personal support for a free and open Internet. While the FCC has already received letters from dozens of technology and Internet-based corporations opposing rules that “would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them” [1], I write to voice concerns related specifically to the education sector.

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OER Summit 2013

October 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

I recently presented at the OER Summit, sponsored by the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, UMassOnline, University of Massachusetts and Mass Colleges Online. Hosted by Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons, the panel included: Marilyn Billings, Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian, UMass Amherst; Paul Dobbs, Library Director, Mass College of Art; Karin Moyano Camihort, Dean of Online Learning & Academic Initiatives, Holyoke Community College, and; Jonathon Sweetin, NCLOR System Administrator, Learning Technology Systems, NCCCS System Office.

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More Starters…

October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last week I posted a few comments pointing to a frustrating phenomena I’ve seen with the acceptance (dare I say popularity?) of open source software: we’ve got too many new projects (over a million) in categories already inundated with viable options. Rather than joining an existing project, folks are creating their own. I used 230+ open source learning management systems (and apparently at least one open source “authoring tool“) to make my point.

However, the phenomena is not limited to learning management systems (or authoring tools) or, for that matter, even software, as the problem appears to have crossed over into other sectors capitalizing on “openness” (fauxpenness?) as a development and distribution (promotion?) method. The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement suffers as well from the “starters over joiners phenomena.” Thankfully, there is tremendous interest in both the use of OER broadly and, just as importantly, open source’s foundational practices that enable it–OER is all good and I am way for it. Massive Open Online Courses (OK, I’m not too “for it” with MOOCs–but that’s another post), Creative Commons licensed learning objects, open access journals, open courseware, etc., all harness the collaborative and community processes of co-creation first ascribed to open source software.

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Joiners, Not Starters

October 16, 2013 § 3 Comments

In an ongoing theme with this blog (I can’t help myself) I’ve lamented, while the acceptance of open methods for development and distribution has grown across a variety of sectors, the result has been an influx of new projects (i.e. starters), by well meaning converts/proponents, rather than the creation of broader communities of collaborators/contributors (i.e. joiners).

Well another open source LMS announcement was made today by The Adapt Learning Community…

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