May 2014 Newsletter

OSI Newsletter: May 2014

May 2014 OSI Newsletter

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Open Source Initiative

...formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source and to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.

Collaborate, Contribute, Co-create

Board Elections

The OSI recently held elections for four open Board seats. We were excited with the number and quality of the candidates and thrilled with the turnout from the membership community. Please join us in welcoming Leslie Hawthorn, Allison Randal and Stefano "Zack" Zacchiroli as new Directors on the Board, as well as Richard Fontana who was re-elected to another term.


Join the OSI at OSCON

OSI members are eligible for a discount on OSCON registration. Simply contact us and we'll send you your coupon code. The OSI and our Board will be attending the annual OSCON conference again this year. Several Board Directors will be speaking including featured keynote Leslie Hawthorn, "Why Checking Your Privilege is Good For *You*", and Simon Phipps, "Money for Nothing and Your Downloads for Free." Also stop by the OSI booth to say hi.


Member Profile: Dave Scott


Dave Scott This month we are delighted to introduce you to Dave Scott, as part of our Member Profile series. Dave just recently joined the OSI as an Individual Member in May, and as he puts it, “I am a very unlikely person to be involved in the OSI – I suspect. I am 71 years old [and] I am a trial lawyer.” Dave first began working with computers in the 1980's when he recognized the importance of computers in managing information. His interest grew and by 1994 he had built his first full system. “At that point I quickly learned that computer technicians tended to be like the five blind men and the elephant. Some knew hardware, some knew software and almost no one knew what I needed with my system. I got as involved as I could and learned as much as I could. The benefit of building one's own computer is simply that one knows what is in it. Now anytime I can't fix something I have a really serious problem—probably one I caused myself.”

Although Dave's interest in building his own technology may pre-date the “Hacker” and “Maker” movements, his experiences—learning on his own and from others—highlight the values and benefits of the the open source movement. “I just like the idea of open source anything. People who work together to reach a common goal. The best way to learn anything is to learn by doing. With the Internet, the free interchange of ideas is boundless. I assume in open source, one learns by sharing ideas.”

Dave only recently became aware of open source software when his grandson suggested they build a computer together and introduced him to free and open source options. “I was unaware there was an organization like the OSI until I started doing some research for the project. My grandson has Aspergers and he has a real interest in computers, working together would be a great way to connect. I have several out dated desktop computers that are just sitting on a shelf and I thought this would be a great way for both of us to learn together. The computers I have built in the past have all been Windows systems and all the software has been proprietary—for several reasons, I plan to use only open source software.”

Dave hopes both he and his grandson can find like-minded folks who share their interests in technology and working together. “If there is a group addressing something I am interested in I am going to join and I hope the OSI community can be a central source we can go to find answers to questions.”

The OSI would like to welcome Dave to the open source community and thank him for joining the OSI—we're sure he'll find many like minded enthusiasts on the discussion lists and in the wiki.


OSI In The News...

The OSI, partnering with Blackduck and 53 other open source communities, release the results of the "Eighth Annual Future of Open Source Survey," finding OSS is powering new technologies, reaching new people, and creating new economics. You can see the results on slideshare.

Leslie Hawthorn explains to how "The Open Source Initiative hopes public awareness is Heartbleed's 'silver lining'"

Simon Phipps reports on a crowdfunding project in Germany supporting LibreOffice to "Make Document Freedom Freer." Simon also offered advice on, "Five Ways to Get Open Source Software Support" in CIO magazine.

Tony Wasserman makes, "The case for open source software" in Singapore Management University's Perspectives Magazine.


International Competition

The OSI is thrilled to announce the launch of the International Competition in Free and Open Source Software Multimedia (ICOM). Organized by the Sena Primary School (SK Sena), Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) along with the state government of Perlis, Malaysia and the Ministry of Education Malaysia the video competition is open to students from around the world: from primary school children to those attending institutions of higher learning. The main objectives of ICOM are as follows:

  • To encourage creative thinking and teamwork among participants
  • To promote active use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in education
  • To create a platform for healthy competition among students at the international level


Our Newest Members...

Pete Ainsworth, United KingdomVincent Mayers, United States
David Ayers, AustriaDavid Meyers, United States
Jase Binkley, United StatesSatheesh Ravi, India
Asher Bond, United StatesJustin Reynolds, United States
Robert Brown, United StatesJacquelyn Schammert, United States
Justin Dorfman, United StatesDave Scott, United States
Chad Ermacora, CanadaJoshua Simmons, United States
Rob Goodson, United StatesMatthew Spah, United States
Peter Goudman, CanadaDavid Updegraff, United States
Vijay Iyer, United StatesMike Wagenblast, United States
John Lewis, United StatesAlbert Yiamakis
Peter Linnell, United States

Membership Card
Don't forget, if you're an OSI Individual Member you can request a Membership Card. These cards provide a variety of benefits from our Affiliates and Corporate Sponsors. Email us today to get yours.


Thank You To

The OSI has adopted BigBlueButton, an open source web conferencing system. The platform enables users to share documents (PDF and any office document), webcams, chat, audio and their desktops. It can also record sessions for later playback. Considering the OSI's global community, these web conferencing tools will help us to reach our members, connect contributors and extend collaboration. The service will also be available to OSI Working groups.

The OSI would also like to thank Blindside Networks for donating hosting and support services for BigBlueButton.

DemocracyLab Logo


The OSI Welcomes

DemocracyLab’s mission is to improve the democratic process and produce collaborative solutions to public policy problems. Their vision is to help communities throughout the world engage their members to make better decisions and create positive change through collective action. As part of their solution, DemocracyLab develops open source software tools to help communities identify problems, construct solutions, make decisions, and take collaborative action.

DemocracyLab Logo


Updates & Events


AFUL would like to announce the 15th Libre Software Meeting on July, 5-11th 2014 in Montpelier, France.

Apereo Fundation's Open Academic Environment (OAE) project team is pleased to announce the fifth major release of the Apereo Open Academic Environment; OAE Desert Sparrow or OAE 5. OAE Desert Sparrow is a mostly technical release, upgrading OAE from CQL2 to CQL3. Next to that, OAE Desert Sparrow also adds full-text search of content comments and discussion posts.

Black Duck is offering to free webinars:

  • Critical Infrastructure for Ensuring the Right Open Source Gets in Your Next Build
    June 3rd 2014 at 11:30 am EDT
    Baruch Sadogursky, Developer Advocate at JFrog and Dave Gruber VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at Black Duck host the first of a three part series to learn how to orchestrate a fast, reliable build process that ensures the right open source bits end up in your next build (MCLE Credit Approved)
  • Cloud Business Models and the Evolution of Open Source Licenses
    June 16th 2014 at 11:30am EDT
    Presented by Black Duck with Karen Copenhaver, partner at Choate Hall & Stewart and Counsel for the Linux Foundation and Mark Radcliffe, partner at DLA Piper and General Counsel for the Open Source Initiative (OSI), will review the application of OSS licenses, particularly AGPL and other licenses in this new class, to these services.

The Debian Project's Gijs Hillenius reported that the Military Prosecutor's office in the Bulgarian province of Plovdiv uses Debian as its default operating system.
In addition, the contest for the DebConf15 logo just closed, but you can vote for your favorite logo.

The Drupal Association published, "How Drupal and Open Source are Helping Youth Rise from Poverty in Africa." The piece chronicles how the Kampabits organization has helped impoverished children by giving them the resources they need to succeed.

KDE is preparing their annual world summit Akademy. In addition, planning and fundraising is underway for their biggest sprint ever in Randa, Switzerland.

OW2 has launched the OW2 Big Data Initiative. The OW2 Big Data initiative attracts a vibrant eco-system around open source Big Data and Business Intelligence technologies, as well as Open Data, allowing organizations and enterprises cooperate to increase the value of information and gain competitive advantage in the above-mentioned domains, driving innovation and exploiting actual business scenarios through an open approach.
OW2Con'14, will be held in Paris, November 4-6 and organized along with the next OpenStack Summit. Save the date!


OSI Corporate Sponsor Profile: Black Duck


In this edition of the OSI Newsletter, we sat down with Philip Odence, Vice President and General Manager at Black Duck. Phil leads corporate business development with responsibilities spanning strategy, M&A, and partnerships within the software development ecosystem, legal and open source communities. A frequent speaker at industry events, Phil chairs the Linux Foundation's Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) working group and participates on the GENIVI marketing team.

OSI: Black Duck provides a variety of services to help organizations understand open source licenses, can you tell us some of the issues that you see most often raised?

Philip Odence: Black Duck’s business is to provide products and services to help organizations get the most out of open source, developing applications and products faster, cheaper, and more securely, and to use it with enough control that they can manage any potential business, legal and technical risks. A big part of our job is to educate, and that education often starts with open source licensing. We find this to be so important because many people don’t realize why open source licensing is important.

Over 1,400 organizations around the world hire us to help manage the OSS Logistics process, but we also offer many important free open source resources that promote the importance of open source and help create the best, most innovative and most secure offerings. Our legal webinars are a good example: Every six to eight weeks we pick a legal topic that is open source-related and provide a “come one come all” webinar on the topic. Black Duck hosts the events, but the bulk of the content is provided by top legal experts: the OSI’s Counsel, Mark Radcliffe, and Counsel to the Linux Foundation, Karen Copenhaver. While we certainly attract a lot of lawyers to these events, about half of the participants are developers or development managers. It’s encouraging to know that people across an organization who take part in the software development process realize the need to better understand open source licenses and how to ensure their compliance.

We also own and maintain the Black Duck Open Hub (formerly known as Ohloh), which is a free resource for both managing open source projects and allowing developers to effectively compare and choose projects and components. Each project comes with accompanying license, language, popularity and other metadata to ensure users make the most informed decision regarding their code bases.

OSI: There are many benefits to open source software, what do you find most appealing about the use of open source software and/or the open source community?

Odence: Where do I start? Generally open source is about sharing and collaborating to produce better software – the biggest open source projects, like Linux or Apache Tomcat, are good examples. But it also applies when a company is building an application for their own use or when a product is able to leverage pre-existing open source components. Instead of having a developer start from scratch, they can work off a project to create something that fits their needs. It makes the whole open source community very appealing, and one you not only need, but want to be a part of.

OSI: Black Duck has been sponsoring the OSI for two years now, how does the OSI's mission and activities support Black Duck specifically and, more broadly, the open source community?

Odence: We sincerely believe that anything good for open source is good for Black Duck. The OSI has brought some “sanity” to open source licensing, which makes it easy for all types of organizations to participate. That’s tremendously important. Black Duck has compiled resources that people can use to expand their knowledge of Open Source Logistics, technologies, and methods. We want our educational materials to help maximize the value of open source and drive innovation within organizations, and we love to share what we learn with the community through the OSI.

OSI: What are some of the areas you hope to see the OSI invest in throughout 2014 and beyond?

Odence: To quote your mission statement: "Community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software.” We, at Black Duck, wholeheartedly believe in this great agenda. Defining open source licenses and helping to limit license proliferation has been a great accomplishment and a step forward to accomplishing the mission. We’d love to see more awareness-building about all aspects of open source, and the OSI is in a great position to do it. This, again, is well aligned with Black Duck’s agenda to promote the use of open source and help companies manage its use.


Thank You To Our Corporate Sponsors

OSI Corporate Sponsors

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