Having watched a fair number of people attempting to engage both the Open Source Initiative’s licensing evaluation community and the Apache Software Foundation’s legal affairs committee, here are some hints and tips for succeeding when your turn comes to conduct a discussion over legal terms with an open source community.
Should you donate money to the open source projects you use? Or is there a better way to help?
Your business most likely depends on open source software. But are you playing your part to make sure it will still be there in the future? For that to happen, the projects where it is both maintained and improved need to flourish.
Open Source and Public Domain are frequently confused. Here’s why it’s a mistake to treat the two terms as synonyms.
You feel slighted by a comment on a mailing list, or a forum post has failed to be moderated live. How should you react?
A recent exchange on a user forum caught my eye, one that’s typical of many user interactions with open source communities. Someone with a technical question had apparently had the answer they needed and to help others in the same situation had posted a summary of the resolution, complete with sample code. When they came back later, the summary was gone.
Individual judgment about the presence of software freedom in a license is not the same as community consensus expressed through OSI approval.
Does it really matter if a copyright license is OSI Approved or not? Surely if it looks like it meets the benchmark that’s all that matters? I think that’s the wrong answer, and that OSI license approval is the crucial innovation that’s driven the open source revolution.
Using the term “permissive” as an antonym to “copyleft” – or “restrictive” as its synonym – are unhelpful framing. Describe license reciprocity instead.
Some open source licenses implement a clever hack invented by Richard Stallman where, as a condition of the copyright license, anyone creating derived versions has to agree they will license the new version the same way as the original. In a play on words, this concept is called “copyleft” and many open source licenses implement this hack.
OW2, the global community for open source infrastructure software and application platforms, and the Open Source Initiative (OSI), the global steward of the Open Source Definition, announced at OW2con’17 that OSI has extended our support to OW2 as an associate member.
While both the OSI and OW2 have been working for yeas to promote software freedom, extending the partnership between the two organizations now, signifies several recent developments in shared initiatives:
How can you grow an open source community? Two blog posts from The Document Foundation (TDF) illustrate a proven double-ended strategy to sustain an existing community.
I joined in with the Open Source Initiative in 2008, was elected to its Board in 2010 and became its President in 2012. Along with the Board, I've pursued a vision of OSI transforming into a membership organisation, serving open source not only as steward of the Open Source Definition and arbiter of which licenses satisfy its requirements and thus deliver software freedom, but also as an enabler for people and organisations that want to make open source better and more popular.