Open Source Initiative Blog

  1. Congratulations to Megan Byrd-Sanicki and Josh Simmons who were both elected to the OSI board's two individual member seats, and to Italo Vignoli, nominated by Associazione LibreItalia, who was elected to the one open affiliate member seat. The newly elected Directors will take their seats on the Board, April 1, 2020.*

    The OSI thanks all of those who participated in the 2020 board elections by casting a ballot. We also want to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of those who stood for election. Each year the field of candidates who run for the OSI Board of Directors includes a who's who of open source software leadership. The 2020 nominees were again, remarkable: experts from a variety of fields and technologies with diverse skills and experience gained from working across the open source community. The OSI is honored to include each of the candidates in our 2020 election.

    We would also like to recognize and thank Molly de Blanc and Simon Phipps who are leaving the OSI board. Both Molly and Simon are former OSI board presidents who have led significant efforts to advance not only the mission of the OSI, but the organization as well. We hope the entire open source software community will join us in thanking them for their service and their leadership. The OSI and the open source software movement are better off because of their contributions and commitment, and we thank them.

    The complete election results are below.

    Individual Member Seat Election Count

    1. Josh Simmons: 224
    2. Megan Byrd-Sanicki: 198
    3. Ashley Wolf: 137
    4. McCoy Smith: 92
    5. Coraline Ada Ehmke: 82
    6. Chris Short: 67
    7. Mario Behling: 60
    8. Mekki MacAulay: 56
    9. George Kraft: 39
    10. Tobie Langel: 36
    11. John Tredennick: 36
    12. Travin Keith: 13
    13. Michael Cruz: 7
    14. Rohit Goswami:7
    15. Bob McWhirter : 7


    Affiliate Member Seat Election Count

    1. Italo Vignoli (Associazione LibreItalia): 18
    2. Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation): 17
    3. Justin Colannino (Software Freedom Conservancy): 17
    4. Bjoern Michaelsen (The Document Foundation): 10
    5. Fabio Balli (Breathing Games): 8
    6. Marco Marinello (FUSS): 5

    *Note: This article originally stated new board directors would be seated on March 20th, the actual date for seating the newly elected board directors is April 1. 2020.

  2. We are excited to announce the growing OSI Incubator Project, ClearlyDefined is now seeking a Principal Software Engineer.

    Would you like to work with companies developing open source software and the broader open source community? Are you interested in open source compliance? Does a job working as, part technical architect, part community manager, and part evangelist sound interesting and rewarding?

    ClearlyDefined (GitHub) is an open source, OSI project aimed at boosting the success of FOSS projects by being, well, "clearly defined." Lack of clarity around licenses and security vulnerabilities reduces engagement — that means fewer users, fewer contributors, and a smaller community.

    OSI Sponsor Microsoft, and its Open Source Programs Office, is looking for someone experienced in open source software, comfortable working with modern software tools (e.g., Node and Azure), and excited to contribute as part of a dynamic environment; someone who understands how to employ scrum and agile techniques to stay focused and productive in the face of change; someone who thrives on cross-team collaboration and enjoys openness and diversity; someone with great communication and presentation skills to convey their message. The Microsoft Open Source Programs Office is a small, multi-disciplinary team that works across the company to help Microsoft participate successfully with open source software and the organizations, like OSI, that support it. 

    If you are interested, the team at Microsoft's Open Source Programs Office would love to talk to you about how open source compliance is making it easier for projects to know their software is being used according to their wishes and easier for companies to know what they need to do to comply with them.

    You can learn more about the job at,





  3. Open source is bigger and more diverse than ever before. With that success comes challenges, some new and some old, but all of them on a larger scale than ever before.

    As we grow and convene more people and viewpoints, the conversations will get more difficult. In some ways, that’s good--vigorous discussions help us clarify our shared understanding and pushing the boundaries helps us find where those boundaries are. We evolve appropriately to meet the needs of a changing world.

    But the challenges of cross-cultural discourse amongst people with strong convictions are readily apparent. This has come into stark relief, over the last two years, across contentious elections and experiments in licensing. We need to provide a safe and productive environment for the communities we convene. The world of open source is large and diverse. We appreciate the continued efforts of the people who were here at the beginning and recognize that while many new people have joined the community, many more do not feel like they’d be welcome participants--and we are lesser for it.

    To fully realize the promise of open source, globally, at all levels of society, for people from all walks of life, we must do a better job of building a community that’s as vibrant and diverse as the world itself.

    Here is an overview of what we have done and the work we are setting out to do to that end:

    Moderation: In recognition that our mailing lists had built up a reputation for being dominated by those with the most time to write emails, and that sometimes conversations became unprofessional, we’ve stepped up moderation efforts over the last year.

    Code of Conduct: Our Code of Conduct, first adopted in 2007 and then significantly revised in 2015, will be updated in 2020 with the aid of professional consultants who will also help us establish clearer, more transparent enforcement procedures.

    New Forum Types: Mailing lists have served us for many years, but we believe they’re no longer the best fit for all of our forums. License Review and License Discuss may be better served with different types of communication mediums. We’re exploring different options for each forum and will make changes in consultation with the community.

    New Forums: Some have expressed a desire for additional communication channels, and we’ve certainly had more in the past. We may look at bringing back some old channels, creating some new ones, and doubling down on things we know are working. Our quarterly affiliate calls have become popular and we may look at replicating or expanding those.

    More Information: While we try to promote our work regularly and summarize it well in our Annual Report, many have expressed a desire for even more transparency. We’re exploring how we can offer more regular reports on all of our programs.

    We have seen incredible progress over the last few years thanks to the efforts of our staff and countless volunteers, as well as community members who’ve praised us when we’ve done well and called us out when we’ve fallen short. Our work is not done.

    The Open Source Initiative is a community-designed vehicle that is responsible for convening people around the public interest. We hope that we can find strength in diversity and continually ground ourselves in discourse that is both critical and respectful in service of open source.


    Thank you,
    Open Source Initiative, Board of Directors

  4. header, SCOTUS

    The Open Source Initiative is proud to join OSI affiliate members Creative Commons, Mozilla Foundation, Software Freedom Conservancy, and Wikimedia Foundation along with other small, medium and open source technology organizations in filing an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in the Google v. Oracle case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    In Google v. Oracle, Oracle successfully convinced the appeals court that Google's reuse of a limited number of Java declarations in its creation of the Android operating system is a copyright infringement and that a jury finding it fair use was mistaken. The brief asks that the Court reverse this decision and confirm that, as has been the common understanding for decades, API interfaces are not copyrightable and that their reuse by others is a fair use under copyright law.

    OSI believes that this case is critical to the future of open source software. Allowing the appeals court’s decision to stand will allow proprietary companies to create expansive walled gardens where, not only their own programs but any program that interfaces with them, will have to be licensed under the company’s proprietary license, at their pleasure. OSI believes this outcome will give an unfair advantage to incumbent industry players and prevent the development of new markets and new technologies at a time when software is fundamental to the distribution of knowledge, free and fair elections, serving the underprivileged, providing healthcare, and the world economy in general.

    Thus far a remarkable 28 amicus curiae briefs have been filed, 26 in favor of the petitioner and 2 in favor of neither party. The briefs of those supporting Oracle are due by February 19, 2020.

    Please note, petitioner Google, Inc. is a current sponsor of the Open Source Initiative. Sun Microsystems, acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010 and now the respondent Oracle America Inc., is a former OSI sponsor.