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).

Recent Activities In Brief

Standards

OSI’s goal in all standards engagement is to promote the generally accepted understanding of open source and support SDOs in accommodating and enabling open source implementation of their standards.

ETSI

OSI remains a paid member of ETSI. OSI has participated actively in the ETSI Board OSS committee – represented first by Bruce Perens and more by Mirko Boehm – discussing ETSI’s future stance towards open source. OSI attended the 4Q19 General Assembly and was planning to attend the 2Q20 GA before it was cancelled.

ISO

OSI was made aware that an Advisory Group (AG 3) was in progress at JTC1 considering open source. OSI made contact with an ISO staff member at the ETSI GA and offered to assist. The offer was passed to AG 3 which declined to communicate with OSI without a formal liaison in place. OSI completed the application for a liaison, which ISO initially overlooked and then effectively rejected. OSI will continue to explore scope to support ISO, probably at the WG level rather than at the JTC 1 level.

Meanwhile, Simon (who is part of the UK’s BSI standards activity) was appointed to the UK’s delegation to AG 3 and was able to engage with the committee. AG 3 meant to terminate at the JTC1 plenary in May, which was cancelled, but has nonetheless ceased activity due to its terms of reference expiring.

Liaisons

IEEE

Following the appointment of Silona Bonewald as Executive Director at IEEE SA Open, OSI reached out to explore liaison opportunities and will work with IEEE to create a mutually effective Memorandum of Understanding.

OASIS

Following the appointment of Guy Martin as Executive Director at OASIS, OSI reached out to explore liaison opportunities and was delighted to welcome OASIS as an Affiliate.

EU Public Policy

OSI’s goal in all EU public policy engagement is to promote the generally accepted understanding of open source and support policy makers with independent expert guidance when they explore matters that affect open source. OSI does not lobby on behalf of any position or interest group. OSI is registered on the EU Transparency Register, number 672028337929-77.

Ericsson Intervention

OSI was made aware of damagingly incorrect assertions about open source made by Ericsson as part of their response to the European Commission’s public consultation on competition and horizontal relationships between market peers. In particular, Ericsson encouraged the Commission to consider regulating open source under the regulations designed to manage antitrust. OSI composed a detailed response which was sent to and acknowledged by the Commission.

OSOR & OFE

OSI has participated in a number of activities organised by the Open Source Observatory (OSOR) and by Open Forum Europe (OFE).

OSI Structure

  • Pamela Chestek has become the Chair of the OSI Standards Board Committee with delegated Board authority in this area. She is supported by a number of other directors.
  • OSI has retained Simon Phipps as OSI’s Director of Standards and Policy.
  • OSI is in the process of creating a Standards & Policy Advisory Board comprising interested Affiliates and qualified Sponsors (see below).

Upcoming Activities In Brief

Standards Activities

ETSI

OSI will continue to engage at ETSI. Board OSS is expected to report to the next GA. OSI would like the ETSI relationship to transform into a productive and standard liaison but that is unlikely to be feasible in 2020.

ISO

  • OSI will explore opportunities to engage with JTC 1, perhaps with SC 7 (Software and systems engineering) or SC 41 (IoT), with a view to devising a mutually productive approach.
  • OSI will engage (indirectly as before) at the future GA in connection with the conclusion of AG 3.

EU Policy Activities

OSI will respond to several EU policy consultations to establish stakeholder status and will then contribute as appropriate. These include:

  • Public consultation on the Digital Services Act (Consultation deadline: 8 September, Roadmap closed)
  • Public consultation on the need for a possible new competition tool that would allow addressing structural competition problems also in digital markets (Roadmap deadline 30 June)
  • Public consultation on the digital education plan (Roadmap deadline: 15 July)

Stakeholder Activities

Advisory Board

The Board Standards Committee and sector Director would welcome a diverse and experienced Advisory Board to inform their activities. Starting 3Q20, this will gather electronically and via this newsletter. Membership will be open to designees of Affiliates and of full Sponsors who have an interest in this work, with admission at the discretion of the sector director and under the ultimate authority of the committee chair. Please contact Simon to request membership.

Working Groups

For specific activities, OSI hopes to draw on the highly skilled staff of Advisory Board members to assist planning and perhaps execution. To this end the sector director will form small, task-focussed working groups from individuals recommended by Advisory Board members.

OSI Sector Overview

For context, here is a brief summary of the history of this activity sector for OSI. The OSI Standards and Open Source Working Group was formed by the OSI Board at the end of 2017 to respond to reports that some parts of the de jure standards community were struggling to understand the meaning and impact of open source on their work led to OSI attending an ITU-T meeting and finding the situation as reported. In 2019, the activity was transferred to a Board Committee, with a remit to organise a corresponding Advisory Board. In 2020, the Board Standards Committee retained former OSI president Simon Phipps to staff its activities as Standards and Policy Director.

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.