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OSI Standards Newsletter Q2 2020

Welcome to the 2020 mid-year newsletter from OSI’s Standards and Policy office. This update is for Advisory Board representatives and Working Group members (see below) and may be distributed within their respective organisations. Because distribution cannot be controlled we have omitted any information that is privileged in some way (such as under Committee or Chatham House rules). Please join our associated update call (details to follow) to clarify any missing details (to the extent the information can be shared).

Celebrating GNOME's Patent Settlement

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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.

State of the Source Summit

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A World-wide Open Source Summit: Build your local community, while engaging the global community.

The State of the Source Summit invites open source communities of practice from around the world to organize and contribute to a global conversation on the current state of open source software: non-technical issues that foster development and community, the licenses that enable collaboration, the practices that promote contribution, and the issues confronting cooperation.

Conference Goals

  • Share the current state of open source licenses: understanding their value and impediments to further adoption.
  • Identify current, non-technical, issues affecting open source software, development, and communities through the lenses of developers, companies, and projects.
  • Conceptualize and plan for what the future may hold for open source software as a community and the Open Source Initiative as an organization.

OpenJS Foundation Joins Open Source Initiative as Newest Affiliate Member

Membership emphasizes growing outreach and engagement with broader software and technology communities.

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PALO ALTO, Calif., June 9, 2020 -- The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the international authority in open source licensing, is excited to announce the affiliate membership of the OpenJS Foundation, the premier home for critical open source JavaScript projects, including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack, and 30 more. The OpenJS membership with the OSI highlights the incredible impact of JavaScript across all industries, web technologies, communities, and, ultimately, the open source software movement.

Charting a Course for 2020 and Beyond

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This is an interesting time for open source.

An approach to intellectual property that was once seen as radical is now mainstream. In 2011, 13 years after "open source" was coined and the Open Source Initiative was founded to promote and protect it, O'Reilly Media declared that open source had won. In 2016, WIRED followed suit. Now, open source undergirds software development across a truly unfathomable range of applications and fans the flames of other open culture movements. It has inspired new ways of collaborating with each other, experiments in community governance, and has been so successful that it is colloquially taken to mean all of the above.

And yet, open source feels so tenuous sometimes. Questions dog us. Setting aside run-of-the-mill fear, uncertainty, and doubt, people are raising legitimate questions: are our projects sustainable? Are our communities safe and healthy? Are maintainers being treated fairly? Is our work just? Can open source weather continued attempts at redefinition?

Committing to Community throughout the COVID-19 Crisis

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Each year the Open Source Initiative relies on the dedicated contributions of individual open source developers and advocates, OSI members, and corporate sponsors. This year, with the global pandemic now affecting so many communities, funding priorities have rightly changed: new initiatives that need dedicated support have emerged, yet many fundamental organizations still need continued support to deliver core services.

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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.