Thanks to a single staff member, ten volunteer board members, and dozens of interns, volunteers, and members, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. Although primarily known for our role in certifying open source licenses, today OSI's mandate includes, fiscal sponsorships for emerging projects, hosting of open source working groups, and cross-discipline community building, all in an effort to extend the reach of open source in education, government, nonprofits, and business. In order to move forward with our work, we are asking members and open source contributors and enthusiasts to take the next step and donate to the OSI. Join us in our work for the next year by donating to the OSI today!
With the help of community input, we approved two new open source licenses, OSET and UPL, as well as coordinated efforts to translate licenses into French. We expanded our licensing work through creating Open Standards Requirements for Software, creating guidelines for what it means to be an open standard within the realm of software. We also released the Open Source License API.
As stewards of the Open Source Definition and a standards setting organization, we work with organizations to ensure best practices and help foster the identity of being a good Open Source Citizen. Recent successes in this include:
- Support and promotion, with adoption, for the development of open source elections software within the City and County of San Francisco.
- The United States passed a Federal Open Source Code policy. The OSI participated in a round-table discussion and was invited to advise during the policy creation process by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
- Board member Paul Tagliomonte testified on behalf of the OSI concerning two bills proposed in New York City: Int. 0365-2014 and Int. 0366-2014. Int. 0365-2014 requires transparency of City purchasing, and Int. 0366-2014 calls for not just showing preference towards open source technology during procurement, but to also minimize the procurement of proprietary software.
- Introduction of FOSS in classrooms to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum in K-12 education.
- In partnership with OSI Affiliate Southern Queensland University, development open resources for teaching open source principles and practices in institutions of higher education
- Support and advisement for the Journal of Open Source, "a developer friendly journal for research software packages" .
- Provided consultation to Stack Exchange regarding licensing for content and code contributions.
- Working with crowd-funding sites to raise awareness, develop standards and instill good practice to address the ambiguity in, or mis-representation of, projects seeking funding promoted as open source software.
- Adoption a set of "Principles of DRM Nonaggression for Open Standards."
The activities of working groups continue to grow. Currently, there are twelve working groups housed within the OSI, including resources for new and existing FLOSS projects and IRS tax regulations, support for open source startups, hackathons, and multiple education projects.
In May of 2016, we partnered with the Apereo Foundation to organize the Open Summit, a celebration and exploration of open education and the role open source plays in education.
Not to mention keynotes, talks, and panels OSI Board members participated in during 2016, the OSI was present at the following conference:
- Community Leadership Summit
- OSCON Europe
- Paris Open Source Summit
Over the course of 2016 we received financial support from over 25 organizations and companies. Sponsor organizations are valuable to the OSI, but they are not members of the organization—they don’t have voting rights. This enables us to better focus on directing our work in directions that benefit the entire open source community, rather than just corporate interests.
Our list of Affiliate Members spans Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. In addition to a range of non-profits and open source projects, we have a number of education institutions who have joined us over this past year.
Protecting Open Source
The Open Source trademark is now recognized in nine global regions and countries. This helps us make sure that things labeled “open source” meet the standards expected of open source. Our globally recognized logo makes it so you can quickly identify open source products and projects.
On more than 20 occasions we either found or were alerted to the misuse of the term Open Source, at which point we contacted the individuals or organizations and worked with them to better comply and meet open source ideals and best practices.
Thanks and Future Goals
We recently held a board meeting, during which we discussed what we accomplished over the past year, and our goals for the upcoming. In addition to continuing to support the organizations for which we provide fiscal sponsorship, working groups, and licensing efforts, we hope to expand our efforts in education, provide better resources for governments interested in incorporating open source in development and procurement, and provide more opportunities for individual and affiliate members to get involved with the OSI, our efforts, and one another.
It is only thanks to members, donors, and supporters of the OSI we were able to carry out all of the work we accomplished in 2016. In addition to the above, we provided necessary fiscal sponsorship for small open source projects. Your funding helped us redo our website, travel for outreach opportunities, and best fight for open source all over the world.
We are proud of our work from 2016, and need to push even harder in 2017. We’re asking you to take your open source contributions to the next level by donating to the OSI. We can work together to work for open source.