OSM to change name

Like others, my concern was over the rising confusion between OSM and another pre-existing effort’s name, and the co-opting of an ethos dear to many software engineers. The words “open source” have a storied history on the web. To see them appropriated like what OSM was attempting just rubbed me the wrong way.

I was mentioned in the Saturday’s Inquirer criticising OSM’s choice of name due to the piece I wrote at Philly Future: “Open Source Media – Anti-Open Source and Anti-Blogging?”

Dan Gillmor raised awareness of it in the tech community yesterday.

I did the same by submitting the story to Slashdot. A discussion is still taking place there on how “open source” has been reduced to so much marketing blather (yeah I know – happened a long time ago – but not in such an obvious way if you ask me).

I emailed and discussed with ESR (yes that ESR – he’s from Philly ya know) – the legality of the name and he felt uneasy over their licensing.

And last but not least, Jeff Jarvis gave the folks at OSM some good advice that it looks like they are starting to follow.

OSM has removed the questionable licensing I objected to (without comment that I can see) and are now moving to change their name. Good for them. For a service that claimed to usher in a new age in journalism, the lack of feedback and transparency was painful to watch. This post is a move in the right direction.