OSI Opposes SOPA and PIPA

The Open Source Initiative Board joined many other civil society organizations as co-signatories of an open letter expressing concern about SOPA and PIPA.

As human rights and press freedom advocates, we write to express our deep concern about S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and the threat it poses to international human rights. Like H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), PIPA requires the use of internet censorship tools, undermines the global nature of the internet, and threatens free speech online. PIPA introduces a deeply concerning degree of legal uncertainty into the internet economy, particularly for users and businesses internationally. The United States has long been a global leader in support of freedom of speech online, and we urge the Senate not to tarnish that reputation by passing PIPA.

Read the full letter.

In addition to the direct issues the letter covers, OSI Board members are also concerned about the addition to any statutes of new ways for corporations to maliciously disrupt the work of open source communities. We fear that, if passed, capabilities created by these bills will be used to chill open source development, block financial support and create a need for excessive compliance auditing requirements. We encourage OSI supporters to contact their political representatives to express these concerns.

Comments

As a former board member, and current board observer, I concur with this position.

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.