From the Board

Oh and one more thing...open source does support piracy...

And by my earlier criticism of the IIPA position that open source == piracy...there might be something to that. Feel free to copy and distribute any of the open source software I've ever written. Give it to a friend, a neighbor, copy it to whatever devices, run it, use it, rip it and enhance it. I promise...I won't call the cops on you. If that makes you a pirate....ahoy matey...

To Microsoft, Open Source means "Windows Encumbered"

One of the most interesting things to happen in the past couple of years, is Microsoft's embrace of Open Source. This means different things to various people I've spoken with at Microsoft. Some seem genuinely sincere. Some seem less so. What hasn't changed is Microsoft's behavior to the Open Source community at large.

Re: VP8 and WebM--Thank you, Google! (P.S. Let's talk)

It was more than a month ago that I started my pilgrimage to Texas to prepare for and participate in a court case in East Texas, but it still seems like only yesterday. As Groklaw aptly reports, opposing counsel pressed not only the question of whether Red Hat and Novell infringed three patents originally issued to Xerox corporation (which later fell into the hands of a non-practicing entity), but argued before the jury that there was a fundamental conflict between property rights and open source software--a conflict they wanted the jury to resolve in their favor.

While I have been processing the events of the trial, playing and replaying lines of questioning over and over in my mind, I've barely been able to keep up with the extraordinary changes to both the competitive landscape and the competitive rules of the technology industry. Having escaped from one rabbit-hole, I appear to have fallen down another directly.

Patent Absurdity

Our friends over at the Free Software Foundation were kind enough to send me an advance copy of their new documentary to preview. It's entitled Patent Absurdity and it tells the story of software patents through the words of many familiar figures in the world of software freedom, framed by a discussion of the Bilski case that's pending in the US Supreme Court.

Tony Wasserman's thoughts on joining the OSI Board

As a new member of the Board (as of 1 April), I thought that it would be useful to explain why I wanted to join the OSI Board and what I hope to achieve during my term. As you can see from my bio (on the Board member page), I've been involved with software, both proprietary and open source, for my entire career, both in industry and in the research community.

Exporting Open Source from the US

If you distribute Open Source software containing encryption from the United States, you are subject to US export controls, yes. But are there any real restrictions? The only thing that the law requires you to do (for Open Source) is send an email to crypt@bxa.doc.gov with the URL. So why do SourceForge and Google impose greater restrictions than the law requires? Anybody know?

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To promote and protect open source software and communities...

For over 20 years the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has worked to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and build bridges between open source communities of practice. As a global non-profit, the OSI champions software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition (OSD), and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

Open source software is made by many people and distributed under an OSD-compliant license which grants all the rights to use, study, change, and share the software in modified and unmodified form. Software freedom is essential to enabling community development of open source software.