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Open Source Initiative blogs

  • CAVO Promotes Open Source Voting in Documentary and Legislation

    The California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), and OSI Affiliate Member, is working on several fronts to promote the adoption of open source software in voting systems. In addition to being featured in an upcoming documentary, the group has recently partnered with a California-based elections reform group, focused on limiting the influence of "big money" in politics. Their work has recently seen success at the federal level in the US as well.

    CAVO's Brent Turner will appear in open source voting documentary, "The Real Activist." Slated for release this summer, the film will include an interview with Brent Turner of OSI Affiliate Member CAVO, as well as coverage of the groups work to promote open source software within US elections' voting systems. The documentary highlights Turner's efforts and CAVO's mission to secure the United States election systems through GPL licensed open source software. Famed narrator Peter Coyote also stars in the film along with former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and many political notables.

    One of CAVO's ( recent successes has been to involve California Clean Money in the push for state legislation, as well as the solidification of the San Francisco open source voting system project.

    Turner, along with Bash Shell creator Brian Fox, have been pushing to include open source language in voting legislation, and have secured interest from Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who recently introduced the "Securing America’s Elections Act". Fox, who also serves a National Association of Voting Officials Board Member, said, "We are pleased to see Congresswoman Gabbard leading the country toward safe and secure election systems. The open source software language in her legislation, in addition to the necessary paper ballot component, will give appropriate security direction to the nation's election officials. Congresswoman Gabbard is appreciated as a pioneer advocating the science of protecting our democracy."

    "The language in the Gabbard bill is a good start " adds Turner, "the race is on to see if we can get the election system secured before it's too late."

    People interested in the subject of open source voting are invited to attend the CAVO TOWN HALL meeting on March 28th in San Francisco, California.

    Image credit, Vote by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

  • 2018 Affiliate and Individual Member Election Results

    The OSI's 2018 elections ran from February 3, with the opening of nominations, through March 16, when the voting was closed at 12:00 midnight PDT. This year's Board of Directors election sought to fill two Affiliate Member seats, and two Individual Member seats.

    Voting in OSI elections is open to all OSI Individual Members and the community representative of each OSI Affiliate Member. Only the Individual Members may vote in the election of Individual Member seats and only the Affiliate Member representatives may vote in the election of Affiliate Member seats (only one vote per Affiliate Member, as submitted by the affiliate representative). Elections for OSI Directors are held according to "approval voting", where each eligible voter votes for as many candidates as they feel are qualified to hold a Board seat. The candidates supported by the greatest number of voters are elected to the open seats.

    Again, in this year's election, the OSI was fortunate with a slate of highly qualified and enthusiastic candidates. The complete list of candidates running for Individual and Affiliate seats is available on the OSI wiki.

    The OSI would like to thank all of those who ran for the Board. Volunteering to serve the OSI and support the Open Source community is a tremendous commitment in time and energy--we truly appreciate their willingness to contribute to our continued success and participate in our ongoing work to promote and protect open source software, communities, and development as well as the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement.

    The winners of the 2018 Board of Directors elections are,

    1. VM Brasseur (elected by the Individual Membership)
    2. Chris Lamb (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
    3. Faidon Liambotis (elected by the Affiliate Membership)
    4. Josh Simmons (elected by the Individual Membership)

    We would like to welcome the new Board Directors and thank the OSI membership for voting. The current Board will meet on Monday, March 19, 2018 to ratify the election results. New Board Directors will take their seats on April 2nd, 2018.

  • Crowdsourcing FOSS Project Success: Clearly defined project data, a smooth path to widespread adoption.

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - March 6, 2018 -- Today the Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced its Incubator Project, ClearlyDefined, a crowdsourced project aimed at boosting the success of FOSS projects by clearly defining their status. Absences or ambiguities around licensing or known security vulnerabilities can erode confidence and limit project success. Project teams often are not aware of these concerns or do not know how to address them. ClearlyDefined identifies the gaps and works with project teams to fill them.

    "This is an important project to amplify the success of FOSS projects through wider adoption and confidence. It aligns closely with OSI's mission to educate and advocate for open source," said Simon Phipps, President of the board of directors of the OSI, curator of the world's open source licenses.

    While the project scope includes licensing, security, accessibility and other essential information, the initial focus is on factual licensing data such as licenses, copyright holders, and source code location. These are the key elements in understanding and meeting the license obligations related to consuming FOSS. Through a series of automated tools and human curation, the ClearlyDefined community has already curated licensing data for 1,000 of the most popular projects on GitHub and in key package management ecosystems.

    "ClearlyDefined applies open source hallmarks—collaboration and openness—to the problem of curating FOSS itself. Contributing licensing and vulnerability data to the originating projects improves life for everyone. Project teams get updated information and guidance on enabling their community, and consumers gain the confidence they need to move fast and engage even more." — Jeff McAffer of the ClearlyDefined project team.

    In addition to curating and contributing required data, ClearlyDefined provides a clearing house service, a one-stop shop, where consumers can get the data they need in canonical, machine-readable form. This enables unprecedented automation and rigor.

    Today the Eclipse Foundation also announces that it will donate curated data to ClearlyDefined to assist in seeding information about projects within the Java ecosystem.

    "ClearlyDefined is important to the Eclipse Foundation because as a large-scale producer of open source we want our projects to be more clearly defined, both for ourselves and our downstream consumers. We are excited to donate some of the curated data we have generated over the past decade about the FOSS we consume to help kick start ClearlyDefined's crowdsourcing effort," — Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

    "Complying with license terms is a critical part of our open source engagement. It is not unusual for a single product to use 1000s of FOSS components. Companies cumulatively spend millions of dollars a year discovering license terms and the information needed to comply. That work is duplicated many times over and takes away from deeper engagement and innovation. Being able to get and contribute the data we need through ClearlyDefined allows us to go faster and engage more." — Rashmi Chitrakar, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

    As an incubator project of the OSI, ClearlyDefined is a vendor-neutral open source project with an open governance model. Standardized harvesting tools are run by community members and the resultant data contributed. Like any open source project, contributions are vetted and accepted by committers (called curators here), and pushed up to the original projects. Getting many eyes on the data enhances its quality and pushing the data upstream benefits everyone.

    "Having a trusted source of curated upstream project metadata will help the entire ecosystem. The Linux Foundation's Open Compliance Projects--SPDX, FOSSology, and OpenChain--look forward to working with ClearlyDefined to create data that can be exchanged in a vendor-neutral manner." — Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs, The Linux Foundation.

    ClearlyDefined is also important to the community as a whole and is an important initiative to capture data about FOSS that may be lost over time. The project is collaborating with Software Heritage to store the data in long term


    "Software Heritage's mission is to collect, preserve and share all the software source code of the world. We are delighted to see ClearlyDefined taking up the important task of curating the metadata about software projects, and we are very pleased to work with them to preserve this precious information that would otherwise be lost as technology and developers move on." — Roberto Di Cosmo, CEO of Software Heritage, an initiative started by Inria, in collaboration with UNESCO.

    About ClearlyDefined
    ClearlyDefined ( is a working group of the Open Source Initiative, the stewards of open source licensing. Individuals from Microsoft, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., HERE Technologies, Amazon, nexB, the Eclipse Foundation, and Software Heritage are collaborating to ensure the success of the initiative and welcome additional participation from the open source community.

    About The Open Source Initiative
    Founded in 1998, 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. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see

  • OSI Celebration at Campus Party Brazil

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) celebrated its 20th Anniversary at Campus Party Brazil 2018 during the first week of February. Campus Party Brazil is among the largest and most diverse tech events in the world. The eleventh edition of the event received a total of 120,000 attendees, of which 8000 were "campers" (participants who actually camp in tents inside this week long event). Approximately 40% of attendees were women, which is a very high mark for a tech event.

    The OSI was well represented at Campus Party. Patrick Masson, the general manager of the OSI, flew in from New York to meet staff member Nick Vidal and two former OSI Board members who live in Brazil: Bruno Souza, founder of SouJava (the world's largest Java user group), and Fabio Kon, professor at USP university (the top higher education institution in Latin America).

    Patrick gave his talk entitled The Third Decade of Open Source at the main stage, where he offered an overview of the first two decades of Open Source, and went on to predict the next decade. The first 10 years of open source were dedicated to advocacy and controlled by controversy. In the second 10 years we saw adoption and even ascendancy within many sectors. Ahead, in the third 10 years, the goal is assimilation, and the expectation is authenticity.

    There were several talks and activities related to Open Source at Campus Party, including a keynote from the legendary Jon "Maddog" Hall, president of OptDyn. Maddog presented Subutai, an Open Source, container-based P2P Cloud computing platform that allows anyone to share, barter, or rent computer resources using Subutai's cryptocurrency.

    Many Open Source communities and projects were present at Campus Party:

    There were also several Open Source friendly companies present at Campus Party, including:

    These were just a few communities and companies we were able to meet in person at Campus Party. An additional list of Open Source activities at Campus Party is available here.

    To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Open Source, the community led by Christiano Linuxmen and Luckas Judocka organized a wonderful Birthday Party attended by almost 100 people. The food was generously provided by iFood (thanks Eduardo Ximenes and Nara Zarino). Rachel Brochado also brought in a cake and some cupcakes. To celebrate the next decade of Open Source, we invited Guilherme Faria, a 10-year old boy who loves Linux, to blow out the candles. Guilherme represents the next generation of the Open Source community.

    We want to thank everyone from the Open Source community who made this celebration so special. Our many thanks to the Campus Party organizers Thalis Antunes, Izabel Valverde, Juliana Teodoro, Paco Ragageles and Tonico Novaes.

    We look forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Open Source at these upcoming events in Brazil:

    For upcoming events worldwide, please see:

    If you are interested in learning more about Open Source in Brazil, please check this excellent summary from O’Reilly:

  • SalesAgility, the driving force behind SuiteCRM, joins Open Source Initiative as Corporate Sponsor.

    Commitment to openness, freedom and collaboration in open source demands a different corporate mindset, a different set of values and a different set of behaviors.

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - Feb. 26, 2018 – The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), the global non-profit dedicated to promoting and protecting open source software, announced today the Premium Sponsorship of SalesAgility, the authors and maintainers of SuiteCRM. Began in 2013 as a fork of SugarCRM’s Community Edition, SuiteCRM is a completely open source CRM solution delivering all the functionality expected of an enterprise-class CRM application. SuiteCRM is now generally acknowledged to be the world's leading open source CRM solution.

    SalesAgility, as an employee-owned and community driven consultancy, is deeply committed to open source, believing the culture of co-creation inherent to open source best serves the long term interests of clients and is the future of business applications. With its community focus, the company has embraced and celebrates the principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, open standards, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community: the same values the OSI promotes among communities of practice to drive genuine open source development.

    “We’re so very pleased to have SalesAgility’s support, especially now, as the OSI enters it’s 20th year,” said Patrick Masson, General Manager of the OSI. “We’re thrilled to see the success of open source and the success of companies like SalesAgility who are authentically engaged in the open source community. This is where our work over the next decade must now focus, learning from that success to help companies understand best practices so more may realize the benefits of community-driven development. SalesAgility is one of these that we can reference and which can serve as a mentor to others.”

    “We are excited to be members of the Open Source Initiative”, said Greg Soper, founder of SalesAgility. “The work the OSI has done over the last 20 years is extraordinary, and we are looking forward to collaborate together to ensure the success of open source in all fields.”

    The OSI has been crystallizing consensus around open source licensing, benefits of participation, and community norms for the last 20 years, and will remain committed to that work. Yet as successes have increased, in both the adoption of open source software and the communities that enable it, the OSI’s work will evolve. Many agree, “Open Source has won,” and an organization dedicated to simply promoting adoption and advocating for collaboration is no longer enough. Although the OSI will continue to take on this work when needed, the organization has identified additional goals for itself, specifically in helping organizations align with established norms, best practices, and the open ethos that has led to Open Source Software’s tremendous growth. Through the support of companies like SalesAgility, who are actively engaged in open source development, the OSI not only receives critical resources for continued operations, but importantly, real-life references that can help inform open source communities of practice, and even mentor organizations just entering the open source ecosystem.

    About SalesAgility
    SalesAgility is the driving force behind SuiteCRM, the world’s most popular open source CRM. SuiteCRM is a fully featured CRM, that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, allowing organisations and enterprises to be in full control over their own customer data. With a community over 88,000 people, a download count of over 800,000 and an estimated user count of over 4 million users, SuiteCRM is world’s most popular open source CRM.

    Powered by a highly skilled team, SalesAgility provides SuiteCRM services that include support, consultancy, custom development, migrations, and training, as well as SuiteASSURED: a fully supported, discrete build of SuiteCRM, created to provide total care for enterprise-class customers and other large organisations. For more information, visit or follow @SuiteCRM on Twitter.

    About The Open Source Initiative
    Founded in 1998, 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. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For more information about the OSI, see

    Media Contact
    Italo Vignoli