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OSI asks German Federal Cartel Office and US Department of Justice to investigate CPTN transaction (update 2)

January 19, 2011 (update 2) - The Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice has acknowledged receipt of the following correspondence (with attachment):

I am writing to you this morning in my capacity as President of the Open Source Initiative, a US 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Last month the OSI filed a statement with the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) outlining our deep concerns about a proposed transaction whereby four companies, Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and EMC, would create a new non-practicing entity (NPE) to acquire and hold Novell's entire portfolio of 882 patents. Since making that filing, we have been joined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and have updated that statement to represent that both our communities--the open source community and the free software community--are concerned that CPTN represents a potential broadside not against any particular product in the market today, but against one of the only viable sources of competition for these companies in software today: the free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) communities.

Attached is our joint statement that reflects both our consensus thinking on the subject and our joint appeal that DOJ investigate the true purpose of CPTN.

If there is any other information you require from myself, any OSI board member, or the OSI as a whole, please do not hesitate to let us know. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Michael Tiemann
President, Open Source Initiative

OSI Committee Chairs Election for 2010-2011

Earlier this month, the OSI board held elections for the organization's committees. Board members interested in working on OSI initiatives such as membership, education, policy and economic development, outreach submitted their candidacy to the board. Based on the slate of candidates, the board voted the following chairpersons to lead each OSI initiative for the next year.

Open Source Education: OSI co-organizing POSSE in Silicon Valley from July 6-10, 2010

Open Source Software has come a long way in the last decade. It has gone from being bleeding edge to becoming mainstream. Every aspect of computing, from the operating system to web applications, has examples of open source software.

As the open source ecosystem grows, the need for talented developers, collaborators and open source experts has burgeoned. Increasingly, Universities want to incorporate the teaching of open source technologies, techniques and business models into their curricula to meet this growth.

Welcoming OSI's new board members

The OSI board elections were held earlier this month and the board voted in a new slate of directors starting April 1st, 2010. I would like to welcome our three new board members - Dr. Tony Wasserman of Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley campus, Dr. Fabio Kon of University of São Paulo, Brazil and Mr. Simon Phipps, an Open Source expert and prolific blogger.

OSI Opposes Barriers To Open Source Software For Television

The Open Source Initiative Board has added OSI to the list of organizations asking that the BBC not be allowed to add digital restriction measures to digital broadcasts in the United Kingdom. The BBC's request to do so is being reviewed by the UK regulator, OfCOM, and OSI is supporting the position statement from the UK's Open Rights Group and encouraging others to do likewise.

Open Source Whitepaper updated for 2010

When I was invited to speak at the STS Forum in Kyoto in 2006, I thought it would be a good idea to write an extremely concise white paper-3 pages total-comparing and contrasting open source software and proprietary software. Since then I have been invited to speak about, defend, and expand upon that paper. Now it's time to give it an update.

OSI signs an MOU with the Korea Software Copyright Committee

I visited Seoul last week to represent OSI at an open source conference and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Software Copyright Committee (SOCOP). SOCOP organized a conference with the title "Free Open Source Software License Insight Conference", and the international speakers included Brett Smith of the FSF, Brendan Scott of Open Source Law, Michael Coté of RedMonk and myself. From the questions we received, it seems that there is a lot of interest in legal questions related to open source.

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