openwashing

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openwashing is the antipattern of producing something non-open, or with non-open methods/maintenance, then claiming it is open, or marketing it as open, with perhaps superficial resemblance or motions that appear to make it open, but not open in practice, whether open standards, open source, open licensing, etc.

Classes of examples

  • "Open APIs" - most so-called Open APIs have very restrictive or domineering Terms of Service that make them non-open in practice
  • OERs-Many in the Open Educational Resource community believe educational institutions may remove faculty and resources and then replace with open content or third party vendors moentize open resources selling user data.

Examples in general

  • schema.org is an example of openwashing of a proprietarily created and (still?) controlled effort. schema.org has done just enough openwashing to appear open to people who don't bother investigating or don't know the history to know that actually it was all invented by a small team (mostly one guy) at Google, forced upon other search engines, and still effectively controlled by Google, through motions of an open mailing list.
  • ...

See Also