administrator's blog

What does Copilot Mean for Open Source?

Everyone’s been talking about GitHub’s recently announced Copilot tool, a new AI-powered code assistant. So, we started by asking ourselves, “Is this tool a net positive for the open source community?”

 

The answer is “Maybe” but with some caveats. In addition to their significant community of pragmatic collaborators (many of whom fail to specify any license let alone an open source one), GitHub has become in many ways the default place where open source communities work together. That unique position comes with some inherent responsibility. 

 

Practical Open Source Needs You!

Our CFP for Practical Open Source Information (POSI) has been open for about a month and we’re planning a unique, half-day event targeting organizations and individuals often left out in community programming that are looking for ‘nuts-and-bolts’ information about what using open source means in practice, from speakers with extensive experience in the field.

 

This is the first such event we’ve planned, so to get the word out, we’ve been reaching out directly to a wide array of open source community members of all stripes -- strategists, activists, lawyers, developers -- to spread the word about our Call for Speakers, which closes on July 15th, 8:00 EDT.  We want this event to be a place where folks can find an accessible entry point into open source practices, learning from community members about best practices, common mistakes, and answers to topics as deceptively simple as choosing the right license for a project, so if that’s something you know about, we want to hear from you!

Google vs Oracle: Resolved in Favor of Open Source

We are pleased to report that Google vs. Oracle*, the landmark copyright case in the US courts about software interoperability, has been resolved favorably for open source developers. It’s been a long road to get here but it’s something the courts were always going to have to address -- is modern technology best served by the copyright maximalism that has long been promoted by the content industry or should we instead re-examine some of those assumptions to facilitate multi-company platform interoperability? The Supreme Court of the United States did not take on the full scope of the question but did provide some very helpful guidance. 

OSI Response to RMS’s reappointment to the Board of the Free Software Foundation

To fully realize the promise of open source, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is committed to building an inclusive environment where a diverse community of contributors feel welcome. This is clearly not possible if we include those who have demonstrated a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with these goals.

The SSPL is Not an Open Source License

We’ve seen that several companies have abandoned their original dedication to the open source community by switching their core products from an open source license, one approved by the Open Source Initiative, to a “fauxpen” source license. The hallmark of a fauxpen source license is that those who made the switch claim that their product continues to remain “open” under the new license, but the new license actually has taken away user rights.

 

Announcing OSI's New Interim General Manager

The Open Source Initiative is bringing in Deb Nicholson as its new Interim General Manager. Nicholson will be supporting the organization through a period of growth and introspection over the upcoming year as stakeholders continue building on the non-profit's past successes. She will be overseeing day-to-day operations, including marketing, staffing and infrastructure, as well as supporting board and volunteer activities. 

OSI's President, Josh Simmons elaborates, "We're thrilled to welcome Deb as an Interim General Manager at OSI. Her credentials are top notch, and she's well respected within the free and open source software communities... I couldn't ask for a better partner as OSI works through its second major transformation! Deb's roots in the software freedom community and at Conservancy bode well for our movements as we strive to present a more unified front to advance our shared goals."

OASIS Open Joins Open Source Initiative

Shared vision and combined resources extend both organizations’ ability to advance open source through standards.

OASIS Open Logo

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 30, 2020 -- The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the internationally recognized steward of the Open Source Definition and open source licenses, is excited to announce the Affiliate Membership of OASIS Open, a global nonprofit consortium managing a broad technical agenda encompassing cybersecurity, blockchain, privacy, cryptography, cloud computing, IoT, urban mobility, emergency management, and other content technologies.

Celebrating GNOME's Patent Settlement

Fireworks

The Open Source Initiative would like to congratulate the GNOME Foundation on its recent settlement of the patent lawsuit alleging that the Shotwell software infringed patents owned by Rothschild Patent Imaging. The settlement was a huge achievement -- not only did GNOME pay nothing, but Rothschild Patent Imaging and its owner, Leigh M. Rothschild, have agreed that, for all of their patents and future patents, they will not sue any user or developer of software under an Open Source Initiative-approved license (and their updated versions) where the software forms a material part of the infringement allegation. That is freedom from suit for the open source software world for over 100 patents.

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