A hard problem worth solving

Here’s a description of the organic open source panel at OSCON (which I’m participating in): “The OSI’s Open Source Definition attempts to set the minimum bar for a software license to be considered “open source”. However, there’s much more to a software project than just the license. Are software projects dominated by a single company still open source? Does a project need to be ‘organic’ to be truly open source? What does “organic” even mean in this context?

My answer to the first two questions is “yes, of course projects dominated by one company are still open source, and no it doesn’t need to be ‘organic'”, where “organic” is (arguably) defined as a project which the first release included source, and is generally characterized as by a distributed development team with no single company truly in control, and “inorganic” is generally code that started off life as a proprietary effort. Yay, panel concluded, thanks everyone!

No? Ok, the line of questions above implies a question of quality, and there are very real qualitative differences between “organic” and “inorganic” open source…..
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