Open Source Initiative

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"The real conceptual breakthrough, though, was admitting to ourselves that what we needed to mount was in effect a marketing campaign—and that it would require marketing techniques (spin, image-building, and rebranding) to make it work. Hence the term `open source', which the first participants in what would later become the Open Source campaign (and, eventually, the Open Source Initiative organization) invented at a meeting held in Mountain View the offices of VA Research on 3 February 1998."
- The Origins of `Open Source', Eric S. Raymond

In the late 1990's Eric Raymond and others developed the term "open source" as a more business friendly term than "free software", with a more inclusive meaning than free software where licenses that were not as strict about the passing on of modifications would also quality for the term. Among other things the Open Source Initiative was established at the great domain name OpenSource.org.

Among the OSI's greatest contribution to the field has been their promotion of the open source ecosystem, and their certification of licenses that were truly open by criteria sometimes summarized as "the four essential freedoms".

In mid 2007 in his post Will The Real Open Source CRM Please Stand Up? the OSI President Michael Tiemann acknowledged the diffuculty the term "open source" was having retaining its meaning. As early as 1998 the term "free open source software" first started to be used in the newsgroups.