OSI Winter 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the Open Source Initiative's quarterly newsletter. We hope the information shared in each edition provides you with interesting insights into our initiatives and activities. We also hope to include updates regarding our members and affiliates, as well as the broader open source software community. If you have any ideas for what we cover, or content to include, please feel free to let us know at contact@lists.opensource.org.

 

OSI News & Updates

2020 OSI Election Results

We are happy to announce the results of our recent 2020 Board Election. Congratulations to Megan Byrd-Sanicki and Josh Simmons who were both elected to the OSI board's two individual member seats, and to Italo Vignoli, nominated by Associazione LibreItalia, who was elected to the one open affiliate member seat. They will take their seats on the Board on April 1st, 2020.

We’d also like to thank Molly de Blanc and Simon Phipps, who are leaving the OSI Board, for their service and their leadership. Both are former OSI board presidents who have led significant efforts to advance not only the mission of the OSI but the organization as well.

We want to thank all of those who participated in the 2020 board elections by casting a ballot. We also want to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of those who stood for election. The 2020 nominees were again remarkable: experts from a variety of fields and technologies with diverse skills and experience gained from working across the open source community. The OSI is honored to include each of the candidates in our 2020 election. Read more about the results of the elections here.

 

New OSI Affiliate Members

The OSI is honored to introduce six new Affiliate Members: GNOME Foundation, Open Culture Foundation, Open Forum Europe, Open Source Community Africa, OpenJS, and Sourcefabric z.ú.

GNOME Foundation

The GNOME Foundation is a non-profit organization that furthers the goals of the GNOME Project, helping it to create a free software computing platform for the general public that is designed to be elegant, efficient, and easy to use.

While the many GNOME contributors develop code, smash bugs, write documentation, and help users, the Foundation acts as a guiding hand in the process and provides resources and infrastructure. It steers releases, determines what software is officially part of the Project, and acts as the official face of the GNOME Project to the outside world, though it delegates most of its authority to specialized teams.

The GNOME Foundation membership is open to all GNOME contributors, and every member of the Board of Directors is a contributing member of the GNOME community. Becoming a member of the Foundation strengthens the community’s voice in the Project and gives everyone an opportunity to vote on goals that will steer the GNOME Project into the future.

Open Culture Foundation

The Open Culture Foundation (OCF), is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, founded in 2014 by several members of Taiwan’s open source community. OCF’s main goal is to support local communities’ use of open technologies in broader sectors, including open source software, open hardware, and open data. OCF helps government, enterprises, and NGOs better understand the benefits of adopting open source, and promotes the importance of open data to the public sphere. OCF believes a culture of open collaboration is the foundation for an innovative society and the engine of participatory democracy.

Since its establishment, OCF has supported local communities running large-scale conferences, seminars, and hackathons, as well as collaborating with a number of international offices and multilateral institutions to deepen Taiwan’s connection to the global open culture community. Some of OCF’s past collaboration partners include the American Institute in Taiwan, British Office Taipei, Bureau Francais de Taipei, and the World Bank. OCF also has strong connections with the global open source community, and regularly exchanges experiences with civic tech groups worldwide. Their mission is to build bridges between local and global “open” communities and hope to act as a mediator for open culture.

Open Forum Europe

OpenForum Europe’s (OFE) was originally launched in 2002 to explain the merits of openness in computing to politicians and legislators across Europe, as part of a vision to facilitate open, competitive choice for IT users. Key areas of interest included Open Source, Standards, Procurement, Cloud and Internet are among our main focus areas.

OFE’s focus has since evolved, with current activities including Policy Research and Development, supported by OFE’s network of supporters and by specific specialist advisors. The main policy topics covered are standardization, e-Government, public procurement, copyright, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

OFE works closely with the European Commission, European Parliament, national and local governments both directly and via national partners. We fully support the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy. An ongoing dialogue with key decision-makers is maintained. OFE participates actively in public consultations that concern the industry and often serve as an interlocutor between legislators and the wider open computing community. Once a year OFE hosts a Summit at which top European policymakers and thought leaders from the industry share their views about the importance of openness in computing.

Open Source Community Africa 

Open Source Community Africa (OSCA) is a diverse community of open source advocates, collaborating on a variety of projects across Africa. Significant activities include OSCA Chapters, the Open Source Festival, and the development of featured open source projects. OSCA is on a mission to create an environment in which Africans not only use open source software and hardware but are also creators of these technologies.

OSCA recognizes the growing demand for technological skills in Africa and hope to take African developers from a billion users to a billion creators. OSCA works with numerous organizations that promote open source culture to reach their targeted audience of contributors, creating an enabling environment that empowers Africa’s creators to develop the open source technologies and communities that will impact people and society.

The OSCA community is a safe, enabling environment, consisting of diverse people, all working together to grow a collaborative system. Driven through chapters--OSCA Lagos, OSCA Port-Harcourt, OSCA Imo, and OSCA Lokoja--each hoss physical meetups and collaborative projects.

OpenJS Foundation

OpenJS Foundation is the premier home for critical open source JavaScript projects, including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack, and 27 more. By creating a center of gravity for the open source JavaScript ecosystem, the OpenJS Foundation’s mission is to drive broad adoption and ongoing development of key JavaScript solutions and related technologies.

OpenJS believes it is essential to provide a neutral home for critical projects, with common principles of technical governance and accountability.  By doing so, they provide for the long-term sustainability of both individual projects and the ecosystem as a whole.

Sourcefabric z.ú.

Sourcefabric is Europe’s largest developer of open source tools for news media. Headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, Sourcefabric z.ú. brings together minds from all corners of the globe to promote media development through the creation of open source software.

Sourcefabric works with some of the most prestigious news organizations around the world with  international clients including online-only and multi-channel newspapers, radio stations, self-publishing and print-on-demand service providers as well as NGOs and news agencies. 

Sourcefabric develops and maintains a strong media development portfolio: open source code is their contribution to the dissemination of free speech. The Sourcefabric family is composed of approximately 70 team members located across the globe in 14 countries with office locations in Prague, Berlin, and Toronto.

Sourcefabric received a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism in 2011, a Guardian Megas Award for Digital Innovation in 2012, and an African News Innovation Challenge Award in 2012.

OSI Affiliate Membership is an excellent opportunity for nonprofit organizations, open source projects and foundations, educational institutions (K12 & Higher Ed.), and user groups to more deeply engage in, and with, the open source community, promote the OSI mission, and contribute to the continued awareness and adoption of open source software. 

 

OSI Backs, BackYourStack 

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has partnered with Open Source Collective (OSC), Open Collective, and CodeFund to help organizations support the open source software they rely on.

The initial collaboration will focus on BackYourStack, a powerful open source tool that helps organizations discover and support their open source dependencies. Despite open source software’s success, community health and sustainability are often at risk--even with popular projects. Most companies using open source simply don’t know much about their dependencies or how to support them.

The project aims to support open source champions in every company to make the case internally for supporting dependencies. BackYourStack removes friction and makes it that much easier for open source projects, corporate sponsors, and fiscal sponsor organizations to collaborate for sustainability.

Our vision is about open source health and sustainability. Giving back to all your dependencies should be the new normal.

Open Source Initiative and Open Source Collective are committed to recognizing projects distributed with OSI Approved Open Source Licenses. The project and partners are committed to giving everyone the opportunity to benefit from BackYourStack’s technology and community, whether they are an open source project, developer, corporate funder, fiscal sponsor, or any other player in the open source ecosystem.

While initial work has already begun the OSI and our partners are seeking additional support. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, how you can help build it or even use it now, reach out (hello@backyourstack.com) for an invitation to our next partner planning meeting. You can also financially contribute to the BackYourStack Collective.

And finally: try it out! A working prototype is up and running, where you can discover dependencies and set up financial contributions. And of course, the project is always looking for your feedback.

 

Critical Conversations in Open Source:

As we grow and convene more people and viewpoints, the conversations will get more difficult. In some ways, that’s good--vigorous discussions help us clarify our shared understanding and pushing the boundaries helps us find where those boundaries are. We evolve appropriately to meet the needs of a changing world.

But the challenges of cross-cultural discourse amongst people with strong convictions are readily apparent. This has come into stark relief, over the last two years, across contentious elections and experiments in licensing. We need to provide a safe and productive environment for the communities we convene. The world of open source is large and diverse.

To fully realize the promise of open source, globally, at all levels of society, for people from all walks of life, we must do a better job of building a community that’s as vibrant and diverse as the world itself.

Here is an overview of what we have done and the work we are setting out to do to that end

 

OSI Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court's Google v. Oracle

The Open Source Initiative is proud to join OSI affiliate members Creative Commons, Mozilla Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, and Wikimedia Foundation along with other small, medium and open source technology organizations in filing an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in the Google v. Oracle case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Google v. Oracle, Oracle successfully convinced the appeals court that Google's reuse of a limited number of Java declarations in its creation of the Android operating system is a copyright infringement and that a jury finding it fair use was mistaken. The brief asks that the Court reverse this decision and confirm that, as has been the common understanding for decades, API interfaces are not copyrightable and that their reuse by others is a fair use under copyright law.

OSI believes that this case is critical to the future of open source software. Allowing the appeals court’s decision to stand will allow proprietary companies to create expansive walled gardens where, not only their own programs but any program that interfaces with them, will have to be licensed under the company’s proprietary license, at their pleasure. OSI believes this outcome will give an unfair advantage to incumbent industry players and prevent the development of new markets and new technologies at a time when software is fundamental to the distribution of knowledge, free and fair elections, serving the underprivileged, providing healthcare, and the world economy in general.

Thus far a remarkable 28 amicus curiae briefs have been filed, 26 in favor of the petitioner and 2 in favor of neither party. The briefs of those supporting Oracle are due by February 19, 2020.

Please note, petitioner Google, Inc. is a current sponsor of the Open Source Initiative. Sun Microsystems, acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010 and now the respondent Oracle America Inc., is a former OSI sponsor.

 

Member Profile

In each newsletter, we’d like to introduce some of the people who have contributed to the OSI community as members and supported our work as advocates. We’d like to start with those who have been with us since the very beginning, joining when the membership program first started in 2012.

Ole-Morten Duesund

Member since, July 2012
Twitter: @olemd

Can you share a little bit about your work in/with open source software?

While I don't work in, or even directly towards open source software, my entire career has been absolutely dependent on open source. I've been more or less exclusively using Linux since 1998-99 or so. Both for personal and professional use. All my jobs have been absolutely dependent on open source software, and on the few occasions where we've been forced to use "normal" commercial software/SDKs everything has been a lot more awkward.

Why do you support the OSI?

I support the OSI because open source makes my life a lot easier because open source makes the wheels of society more accessible and less dependent on any particular company. OSI helps make this possible, and considering the fact that my income and my whole way of life is directly affected by the presence of open source software, it makes sense to support OSI - as well as a handful of open source projects, both regularly as well as every now and then. My main reason for not working directly with any particular open source project is that all the projects that have been interesting/relevant have so far turned out to be doing absolutely fine without me. And they keep churning out features, bugfixes, and releases that should humble any commercial product. Code quality is also generally WAY higher in open source projects than in the closed source products I've been working with.

Do you have a vision or goals for open source software and communities in the future?

I don't think I have any particular vision for open source as such, as far as I can see it's pretty much taken over the world already, and it keeps getting better all the time. I would like that to continue.

 

OSI Affiliate Updates

The OSI Affiliate Program allows non-profit and not-for-profit organizations to become OSI members. The program is now open for applications.

Apereo Foundation

Associazione LibreItalia 

BigBlueButton

BreathingGames

  • Coronavirus Openkit
    Coronavirus-openkit.net emerges from the project Open Village, a collaboration between the Geneva Health Forum and the Open Geneva festival (3500 participants).

Creative Commons

Debian

Drupal Association

Eclipse Foundation 

FOSSASIA

FreeBSD

FUSS

Internet Systems Consortium 

Joomla! (Open Source Matters)

Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS)

  • Call for Editors
    JOSS is recruiting editors with expertise in bioinformatics, material science, physics, R/statistics, and the social sciences.

Linux Foundation

Linux Professional Institute

Mifos

Mozilla Foundation

Network Time Foundation

New Zealand Open Source Society

Odoo Community Association 

Open edX

  • Open edX Prize
    New for 2020, we will be awarding the Open edX Prize to celebrate impactful work by the Open edX community of engineers and instructors.

Open Preservation Foundation

Open Research Institute

Open Source Design

OSEHRA

OpenMRS

OpenStreetMap

OW2

Plone Foundation

Powering Potential

Python Software Foundation

Software Freedom Conservancy

Sourcefabric

sysarmy

The Perl Foundation

Tiki Software Community Association 

TYPO3 Association

Wikimedia Foundation

WordPress Foundation

Xerte Project 

 

Affiliate members - Do you have any information you would like to share? Send us your latest news and updates and we will include them in future newsletters. 

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.