Meta’s LLaMa 2 is not open source, says open source watchdog



What is Open Source in AI? Metas LLaMa 2? No, says the Open Source Initiative.

In a new post, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) accuses Meta of misusing the term “open source” and says that the license of LLaMa models such as LLaMa 2 does not meet the terms of the open source definition (OSD).

According to the OSI, the license contradicts the principles of open source by restricting commercial use and certain areas of application.

Open-source licenses would have to give developers full sovereignty over the technology used and its benefits. “Open Source is premised on the understanding that everyone gets to share no matter who you are. The commercial limitation in paragraph 2 of LLAMA COMMUNITY LICENSE AGREEMENT is contrary to that promise in the OSD.  “


Meta’s desire to restrict the use of LLaMa for competitive purposes is not in question, but the license cannot be called “open source” under the OSD, they said.

No restrictions on open source for the public good

According to the blog post, OSD does not allow any limitation of the scope of use, “because you can’t know beforehand what can happen in the future, good or bad.” As a positive example, the OSI cites the Linux kernel, which has become popular in medical devices as well as airplanes and rockets.

“But the Meta policy prohibits use in several areas that might be highly beneficial to society, such as regulated/controlled substances and use for critical infrastructure.”

Open Source Initiative seeks definition for “Open Source AI”

So according to the OSI, Meta’s LLaMa license is not an open source license. But what is Open Source AI? Finding such a definition is the goal of a multi-stakeholder deep dive process. The process includes many meetings, webinars and community reviews. On October 17, 2023, the OSI plans to present a release candidate for the Open Source AI definition.

Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative is a non-profit corporation “with global scope formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.” OSI maintains the Open Source Definition (OSD).


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