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Welcome to The Open Source Initiative

Open source software is software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone. Open source software is made by many people, and distributed under licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a global non-profit focused on promoting and protecting open source software, development and communities. Among other things, we maintain the Open Source Definition, and a list of licenses that comply with that definition. See our about and history pages for more.

Latest News


OSI has a new President

Outgoing President Simon Phipps hands the baton to Allison Randal

OSI Welcomes New Sponsor Deciso

Sponsor of OPNsense, an open source FreeBSD based firewall and routing platform, extends support to broader open source community.

OpenMRS joins Open Source Initiative as Affiliate Member

Partnership highlights core values of both organizations in ensuring access to all members within communities.

California Association of Voting Officials, Latest to Join Open Source Initiative

Organizations aligned in goals of raising awareness and adoption of open source in government and elections.

Statement of Support: Open Source Licensing and Community Intent

OSI strongly supports compliance with the terms of open source licenses, including the one involved in the Christoph Hellwig lawsuit against VMware, the GPL. OSI also encourages respectful collaboration as peers between downstream recipients of open source software and upstream software developers and believes that such collaboration is most effective if participants are mindful of both their legal obligations and community expectations. It is mainly thanks to balancing collaboration and compliance that open source software can thrive.

OSI Affiliate OSEHRA Receives ANSI Accreditation as SDO

The forthcoming OSEHRA quality standard and the associated certification process will raise trust and confidence in newly introduced code, adding value and strength to the open source community.

Why I [Leslie Hawthorn] am a Member of the Open Source Initiative

Leslie shares her motivations for memberships and how member participation enables both the OSI's and the open source movement's success.

Open Source Initiative 2015 Membership Drive

First ever Individual Membership Drive coincides with 17th anniversary & Board of Directors election

The OSI will launch our first ever Individual Membership Drive this year, coinciding with our 17th anniversary, Feb 3rd, 2015. Our membership drive goal is to sign up 2,398 members in celebration of our founding on 2/3/98 — "2,398 for 2/3/98" — see what we did there? The membership drive will also run in parallel with our annual Board elections, with nominations opening on Feb 2nd. The membership campaign will become an annual event.

Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance Joins Open Source Initiative

Association highlights growth of open source software across industries and sectors

The Open Source Electronic Heath Records Alliance, or OSEHRA, a non-profit community dedicated to supporting open source users, developers, service providers, and researchers engaged in advancing health information technology, has joined the Open Source Initiative's (OSI) Affiliate Membership program. OSI Affiliates are organizations committed to public support for open source software and the role the OSI plays therein. The current Affiliate membership is a who's-who of the world of open source software.

OSI releases 2014 Annual Report

Thank you to the open source software community for a great 2014!

Over the past year the Open Source Initiative, with the help of our active community of Individual and Affiliate Members as well as our generous Corporate Sponsors and Supporters, has re-invested in our infrastructure to increase interaction with the open source community, ensuring our continued role in promoting and protecting the integrity of open source.

TYPO3 Association Joins Open Source Initiative as Affiliate Member

Shared commitment to open source community-development, education and promotion of non-proprietary software.

The TYPO3 Association, a non-profit organization founded to ensure the sustained and long-term development of the various TYPO3 software projects--including the highly flexible, scaleable and customizable TYPO3 Web Content Management system--has joined the Open Source Initiative ® (OSI) as an Affiliate Member. TYPO3 supports an international community of users and developers through: internal and external communication, spreading knowledge and competence; organizing informational and training events, and; securing trademark rights in the interest of the TYPO3 community.

WordPress Foundation Becomes an Open Source Initiative® Affiliate Member

OSI to help share Wordpress' success as a model for other open source projects.

The Open Source Initiative the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the WordPress Foundation (WordPress) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member.

Engineering Group Becomes An Open Source Initiative Corporate Sponsor

Engineering Group confirms its support for global open source communities and contributes to OSI’s growth

Engineering Group, a founding member of the OW2 Consortium (www.ow2.org) and an associate member of Eclipse Foundation (www.eclipse.org), announced today its corporate sponsorship of the Open Source Initiative (www.opensource.org). Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative protects and promotes open source by providing a foundation for community success. It champions open source in society through education, infrastructure and collaboration. In 2011, the OSI created a process for wider participation initiating an affiliate program, launching an individual membership program and encouraging corporate sponsorship.

prPIG Joins the Open Source Initiative

Partnership will educate students regarding the power of open source software and spur technological and social innovation.

The Open Source Initiative, the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the Puerto Rico Python Interest Group (prPIG) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member. prPIG’s support of open source software development and its advocacy for the adherence to the open source definition are supporting software innovation in Puerto Rico.

OSI and Conservancy Announce US Tax Exemption Working Group

Software Freedom Conservancy and the Open Source Initiative are pleased to announce that they are the founding members of a working group focused on tax exemption issues for organizations in the United States.

Recent activity by the Internal Revenue Service in response to applications for tax exempt status have sparked a lot of interest and discussion amongst free and open source software communities.