[Linux-aus] Should Linux Australia change its name to Open Source Australia?

Linux Australia President president at linux.org.au
Wed Dec 20 13:26:52 AEDT 2017

On 20/12/17 11:50, Jack Burton via linux-aus wrote:

>> NO
>> Why? Not because I am engaged in a religious war on the various
>> aspects of open source theology but because OSIA open source industry
>> australia exists and has done for a decade or more.  To rename LA to
>> OSA open source australia is to court confusion in the market and the 
>> community/ies  and to what end?
>> Sorry Kathy and I know you dont want to start name shopping but if we 
>> are to change name then it needs to be to one that does not walk into 
>> confusion from the get go.
> I must say I agree completely with Brenda on this.
Thanks Jack for your feedback.
> Please do not rebrand LA as OSA, as that is likely to cause extreme
> brand confusion between OSA & OSIA.
Any name that we move to that has "Open Source" in it is likely to have
the same impact. As a case in point, is OSIA often confused with, say
the Open Australia group (that does Right to Know etc)?
> Whether there should be any name change is a broader question, which I
> don't have a strong view on either way so long as whatever new name is
> chosen does not end up being likely to cause brand confusion with other
> relevant organisations.
> Linux Australia does superb & highly important work, as by far the
> leading community body for FOSS in Australia.
> In my opinion at least, the work of OSIA, as the only remaining industry
> body for FOSS in Australia, over the last 13 years has also been of
> great importance and utility (particularly in the public policy space)
> -- although admittedly not over the last 12 months, but steps are being
> taken at OSIA right now to remedy that in the new year.
Agreed, both organisations do excellent work. I'd be very interested to
hear what OSIA has planned, particularly given the impetus that was
started in 2013 with the OSIA 2013-2018 Strategic Plan:

Strategy 1.4 of this document seeks to collaborate and build open source
/ FOSS relationships in Australia, however from the Linux Australia
perspective there doesn't appear to have been a lot of progress toward
that strategic objective. And that's understandable. FOSS / open source
organisations are often stretched for time and resources.
> From an OSIA perspective, it would be a great shame if that work were
> derailed, by forcing us to undertake our own rebrand in the midst of
> all that -- which seems to me an inevitable outcome if LA changes its
> name to OSA.
This is a long bow to draw, and slightly disingenuous to be frank.

We're not "forcing" OSIA into any sort of decision. We're canvassing the
desire of our Members to change the name of an organisation to a name
that was the most popular alternative the last time this was formally
floated in 2011/2012. If our Members vote not to proceed, we won't
proceed with the name change.

If the vote passes, then it's up to OSIA whether to respond to that change.

Our decision to seek feedback on a name change is driven by our external
environment, and the role Linux Australia is now playing in that

The only 'Linux' event we run now is linux.conf.au, although to be fair
it is a flagship event. We also run Pycon AU, DrupalSouth and this year
have entered into an MoU to help facilitate WordPress-based events in
Australia (we've been auspicing WordCamps for several years now). These
only have a peripheral association with 'Linux' - and so activities such
as Sponsorship, and relationship building can be hampered because of
*our* brand in these markets.

*Keeping* our name as Linux Australia actually has the same impact to us
*now* - it causes brand confusion in the markets we operate in.
> Please reconsider -- personally, I think that OSIA and Linux Australia
> (or whatever new name it chooses) should look more to *collaborate* with
> each other on relevant initiatives, rather than stepping on each other's
> toes (and that cuts both ways -- I'm aware that some of OSIA's limited
> activities during 2017 may have been seen as straying into community
> territory, and over at OSIA I'm seeking to end that and return to our
> core focus).
I'd be very interested in hearing more from OSIA around how you see us
collaborating. We've had some early initial discussions with EFA in this
regard, and as you would have seen, we've finalised an MoU this year
with WordPress Support PLC to facilitate WordPress in Australia. We also
collaborated strongly this year with VALA around VALATechCamp, which was
a roaring success. So yes, we're very open to suggestions on how we
could collaborate and deliver mutual value.
> The views above are my own and not necessarily those of the OSIA,
> although I suspect that most OSIA members would probably agree.
Out of curiosity, how many members does OSIA have currently?

Kind regards,

> Regards,
> --
> Jack Burton FACS CP <jack at saosce.com.au>
> Director, Saosce Pty Ltd
> Company Secretary, Safecoms Cyber Security Pty Ltd
> Company Secretary, Open Source Industry Australia Ltd
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Kathy Reid
Linux Australia

0418 130 636

president at linux.org.au

Linux Australia Inc
GPO Box 4788
Sydney NSW 2001

ABN 56 987 117 479 

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