Why advocacy and outreach matter

Despite a 25-year history, Open Source is still misunderstood or misrepresented. I still read about developers, a cohort you’d expect to know better, arguing whether software licensed with the GNU GPL is Open Source because “one cannot resell it” (hint: the GNU GPL doesn’t prevent users from selling software.)

This sort of confusion reaches the highest levels of the policy-making process. 

A lot of issues found in the text of the European Cyber Resilience Act, for example, stem from one misstep: the Open Source communities haven’t been consulted. Why? And how do we fix this?

As OSI’s director of policy and standards Simon Phipps wrote, the lack of early engagement with a wider set of Open Source experts explains why the drafters of the CRA have misunderstood the meaning of “Commercial” when referred to Open Source. 

At OSI we’ve stepped up our advocacy and outreach program to educate the wider community. We just wrapped up the first License Clinic for lawyers and employees of US federal agencies and we’ve started planning for the next one, in Brussels. Stay tuned for details: the License Clinic is a staple of our programs.

We want to make sure that there are no missteps when large, consequential legislation is drafted and OSI and its Affiliates are consulted.

Become a Supporting or Professional member today. Your contribution supports OSI’s work to educate lawyers and civil servants around the world about the values of Open Source.

I hold weekly office hours on Fridays with OSI members: book time if you want to chat about OSI’s activities, if you want to volunteer or have suggestions.

Stefano Maffulli

Executive Director, OSI 

In this month’s Open Source Initiative’s newsletter

  • Results of 2023 elections of OSI board of directors
  • Containers can be safer with Open Source
  • April 4th License Clinic in Washington DC
  • Diving in to Open Source supply chain; connecting and collaborating with
  • communities
  • Open Source Approved License® registry project underway with help of intern, Giulia Dellanoce
  • Why the European Commission must consult the Open Source communities
    2023 State of Open Source Report: key findings and analysis
  • Notable Open Source news

Results of 2023 elections of OSI board of directors

Congratulations to the returning directors Aeva Black, and Catharina Maracke, and the newly elected director Anne-Marie Scott.

Anne-Marie Scott has been confirmed and joins as a director elected by the Affiliate organizations. She’ll take the seat that was occupied by Hong-Phuc Dang who resigned in June 2022. Aeva Black and Catharina Maracke collected the votes of the Individual members.

Containers can be safer with Open Source

Container adoption is soaring, thanks to Open Source. The majority of projects and tools for container management in the cloud-native ecosystem are Open Source; one example is SlimToolkit, a tool supported by Slim.AI. SlimToolkit addresses one of the most critical issues in the cloud-native ecosystem today: container security. Read more from OSI Maintainer Sponsor Slim.AI.

April 4 OSI License Clinic Washington DC a Success!

With a ten year pause since the last License Clinic, OSI is now on track to deliver License Clinics for public service employees in support of their role in adoption and use of Open Source within their agencies. In the US, recent executive orders and the new National Cybersecurity Plan – released just ahead of the clinic – has raised the bar for engagement with free and Open Source software communities by agencies.

Three current OSI board directors and two board directors emeritus along with seasoned government practitioners led a full-day interactive workshop covering Licensing 201 AI/ML, SBOM, and Alternative Licenses.  Attendees represented a wide range of DC area interests; civilian and military, the White House, Non-governmental agencies and Nonprofits, the legal community as well as contractors supporting agencies OSS projects  Plans are underway now for the 2024 clinic.  Watch this space for the date, plus announcement of publication of Clinic proceedings early this summer.

Diving in to Open Source supply chain; connecting and collaborating with communities

It has been about one month since ClearlyDefined Community Manager Nick Vidal joined the Open Source Initiative, and he’s been busy learning about ClearlyDefined and how it fits into the Open Source supply chain compliance and security ecosystem. This is an exciting area that has a major impact not just in the tech sector, but on society as a whole, as Open Source has become pervasive.

Open Source Approved License® registry project underway with help of intern, Giulia Dellanoce

One of the main drivers for the recent OSI website upgrade was to unify OSI-approved licenses with all related metadata to a consistent, reliable and easy-to-access format. From there we can incorporate the outcome of the recommendations coming out of the License Review Working Group. What’s really exciting is we have hired an intern, Giulia Dellanoce, to get this important project underway!

Also join us in thanking Slim.AI, who’s donation to OSI is supporting this internship.

Why the European Commission must consult the Open Source communities

A crucial problem with the Impact Assessment of the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) is that no Open Source communities or community fiduciaries were consulted as stakeholders. The lack of consultation with the Open Source communities would explain the possible origin of a serious defect in terminology. Standards & EU Policy Director, Simon Phipps, explains more in his latest blog.

2023 State of Open Source Report: key findings and analysis

Executive Director Stefano Maffulli joined Javier Perez on a webinar reviewing the results of the 2023 State of Open Source survey, a collaborative effort between OpenLogic by Perforce and the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Open Source users from all eight global regions, working in 20+ industries in organizations of all sizes were anonymously surveyed. The resulting report is about 60 pages of great content and data on all things Open Source. The raw data of the survey has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License. Here are some key findings they recently discussed.

OSI in the news

Open-source tools have a large role in the production of AI. devm.io spoke with Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) Stefano Maffulli about Open Source and AI systems.

And a huge shoutout to all of our renewing sponsors!

  • Bloomberg for their continued support of ClearlyDefined.

Are you interested in sponsoring or partnering with the OSI? Contact us to find out more about how your organization can promote open source development, communities and software

Image by kiquebg from pixabay via Canva.com