The Open Web

Writers of Disney Sitcom Fail to Understand Open Source

Of course, Reddit thinks they're spreading anti-open source propaganda.
picture 14 Writers of Disney Sitcom Fail to Understand Open Source

(Photo: YouTube)

How about a little propaganda controversy for your Monday morning? A clip from the Disney kids’ sitcom Shake It Up is making the rounds on social news sites this morning, with some claiming that the writers of the show are purposefully spreading “fear, uncertainty and doubt” about the integrity of open source code. Scandal, you guys.

“Did you use open source code to save time and the virus was hidden in it?” asks a bespectacled Bill Gates-child clone in the clip. (Computers: only for the argyle-sweater-wearing among us.) “Rookie mistake.”

Discrediting the open source community by claiming code taken from it is especially prone to viruses? The Internet will not stand for that.

But why would Disney want kids to think that open source is evil? The hope that they’ll grow up believing in patents and copyright and thus not illegally download episodes of Shake It Up seems like a rather tenuous argument.

More than likely, the writers of the show just had no idea what “open source” actually means. It’s a buzzword that, when uttered by a nerdy-looking little kid, sounds like believable computer speak. Wouldn’t be the first time TV show writers bungled larger academic concepts.

Of course, as The Register points out, “Freetards are, at the time of writing, yet to erupt in protest, but that can’t be far off.”

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