Today is Document Freedom Day. It is a day marked around the world for document liberation. It also highlights the importance of using open standards and open data formats for document interchange between everyone who has information to share - between people, schools, businesses and governments.
Progress is being made.
The OSI board elections were held earlier this month and the board voted in a new slate of directors starting April 1st, 2010. I would like to welcome our three new board members - Dr. Tony Wasserman of Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley campus, Dr. Fabio Kon of University of São Paulo, Brazil and Mr. Simon Phipps, an Open Source expert and prolific blogger.
As a new member of the Board (as of 1 April), I thought that it would be useful to explain why I wanted to join the OSI Board and what I hope to achieve during my term. As you can see from my bio (on the Board member page), I've been involved with software, both proprietary and open source, for my entire career, both in industry and in the research community.
The Open Source Initiative Board has added OSI to the list of organizations asking that the BBC not be allowed to add digital restriction measures to digital broadcasts in the United Kingdom. The BBC's request to do so is being reviewed by the UK regulator, OfCOM, and OSI is supporting the position statement from the UK's Open Rights Group and encouraging others to do likewise.
If you distribute Open Source software containing encryption from the United States, you are subject to US export controls, yes. But are there any real restrictions? The only thing that the law requires you to do (for Open Source) is send an email to email@example.com with the URL. So why do SourceForge and Google impose greater restrictions than the law requires? Anybody know?
Yesterday Matt Mullenweg announced the establishment of the WordPress Foundation. It's goals, among others, are "to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software".
He further elaborates:
The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come. As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting the WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation will also pursue a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.
We hope to gather broad community support to make sure we can continue to serve the public good through freely accessible software.