OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software. The December 8 Decision means that Commission services may choose to make Commission software available under open source licenses, something OSI has long advocated and which opens great opportunities both for individuals and companies.
OSI encourages every part of the Commission to make the most of this new Decision, both for economic and civil reasons. A recent report for the Commission by Open Forum Europe (an OSI Affiliate) estimates that “open source software contributes between €65 to €95 billion to the European Union’s GDP” and observed that “if open source contributions increased by 10% in the EU, they would generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% (around €100 billion) to the bloc’s GDP.” But as observed in the 2018 UNESCO “Paris Call” report, a document that OSI contributed to, software is also an essential element of our cultural heritage and legislators need to “create an enabling legal, policy and institutional environment where software source code can flourish as an integral part of knowledge societies” and especially leverage open source licensing to “enable effective independent auditing of software source code used to make decisions that may affect fundamental rights of human beings”.
“As global steward of the Open Source Definition and of the list of approved Open Source Licenses, OSI is an ideal partner for the European Commission in taking this further” said Stefano Maffulli, OSI Executive Director. “Open Source licensing is the perfect strategic approach to unlock these economic and social benefits and we congratulate the Commission on this Decision” said Simon Phipps, OSI Director of Standards and Policy.