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Open Source Initiative blogs

  • Open Cars Kick-Off Conference

    Convened by Bruce Perens, one of the founders of the Open Source movement in software and an authority on Open Standards, and Open Research Institute, Inc. the Open Cars Kick-Off Conference will be held November 6, at the Marriott Airport Lakeside, Orlando, Florida, USA

    Autonomous cars are coming. But how are we going to deal with keeping both the software and hardware up-to-date? Odds are, a three-year computer and software a few months old are going to be too old to drive autonomously, at least while the technology is in its infancy. And how do we train the guys in your local garage to maintain an AI?

    The automobile industry thinks they have a solution: lease rather than sell autonomous cars, lock the hood shut, and maintain them exclusively through their dealers.

    That works great for the 1%. But what about the rest of us? The folks who drive a dented, 10-year-old car? We should have the option to drive autonomous cars, and to participate in the same world as the more wealthy folks.

    Open Cars will be the solution. These are automobiles sold with standard fittings, plugs and standards, so that an autonomous driving computer can be purchased in the aftermarket, installed and tested by a certified mechanic, and put on the road. Similarly, the on-board computer, communication, navigation, and entertainment system on an Open Car will be pluggable, purchased on the aftermarket, and will fit into well-defined niches in the vehicle.

    By facilitating a competitive market for self-driving computers and other accessories that can be installed on any Open Car, Open Cars will increase the speed of self-driving development, preserve healthy competition, increase quality and lower cost through the force of an open market.

    This one-day conference will introduce the concept of the Open Car, ongoing research, and how we will establish the Open Car as a reality.

    Come to Orlando in November! Bring your family! The venue is a short drive from Disneyland, Universal, SeaWorld, and other attractions.


    Conference attendance will cost $60. Tickets will be available in a few days. To register your interest in the conference and be informed when ticket sales and hotel reservations open, subscribe to the Open Cars announcement list.

    Open Cars? Open Source?

    Open Cars mean open standards built into new cars that will support an aftermarket for autonomous driving and other electronic accessories. Open Source is not required.

    The autonomous driving solutions added to Open Cars are likely to be sold for profit, some sort of certification and a specialized mechanic are necessary and must be paid for. Computer, communication, navigation, and entertainment systems have less stringent requirements and Open Source implementations are likely.

    However, Open Standards make the development of Open Source autonomous driving systems possible. The potential for an Open Source implementation which is audited, certified, and sold might make Open Source autonomous driving solutions workable.

    Call For Papers

    A few slots are open for presentation by leading researchers in the field. Please submit your abstract only via email to ASAP.

    Follow-Up Meeting

    A follow-up meeting on November 7th for sponsors and active participants shall discuss how we carry forward the Open Cars campaign.


    The first paper on Open Cars has been published in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. The paper was a collaboration between ORI president Bruce Perens and Boalt Hall (Berkeley Law) professor Lothar Determann.

    Image Credit: "Koenigsegg CCX with dihedral doors open" (Koenigsegg_CCX_(16702216680).jpg), by Axion23 - Koenigsegg CCX, CC BY 2.0,

  • Anniversary Schedule at OSCON

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), in conjunction with OSCON, will be celebrating 20 years of Open Source next week at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland. The OSI will be hosting a day of community-led lightning talks, open source related activities, and an after party on Wednesday (July 18th). Entrance is free, courtesy of OSCON, but registration for the Expo Plus pass is required using the promo code EXPOFREE:

    Besides the "Open Source Anniversary" track (organized by the OSI) in room F149, OSI Vice President Vicky (VM) Brasseur will be participating in the "Open Source Past, Present, and Future" track in room E146. The Expo Plus pass gives access to the event organized by the OSI, while the regular pass gives access to all other OSCON sessions and activities. The promo code “OSI20” gets 20% off any regular pass.

    ScheduleOpen Source Anniversary (Room F149)Open Source Past, Present, and Future (Room E146)
     10:20amMorning Break 
     11amSimon Phipps: Welcome
    Keynote: Danese Cooper & Stephen Walli: Heroic and inspiring tales of open source
     11:50amCarol Smith: ClearlyDefined: Crowdsourcing FOSS data for project success
    Stefano Zacchiroli: Software Heritage: browsing 20 years of FOSS, and then some
    Abby Mayes: Open as a competitive advantage
    1:45pmPatrick Masson: Welcome
    Keynote: Bruce Perens: 20 years of Open Source
    Vicky (VM) Brasseur: How to open-source an internal project
     2:35pmJose Parrella: 25 years of Debian
    Abby Mayes: 20 years of Mozilla
    Jennifer Rondeau: Twenty years of OSS: The challenges of contributors and maintainers from past to future
     3:15pmAfternoon Break
     4:15pmDeb Nicholson: Free Software: Our Past and Our Future
    Deb Goodkin: 25 years of FreeBSD
    Petra Sargent: You can teach an old dog new tricks: Moving from proprietary to open source
     5:05pmMichael Tiemann: 25 years of Red Hat
    Josh Simmons: Teaching the Next Generation to FLOSS
    Vicky (VM) Brasseur: Closing
    Amye Scavarda: Building authentic communities: Upholding developer values while delivering customer value
    5:45pmBooth Crawl (5:45pm - 7:00 pm)
    7:00pm - 9pm20th Anniversary Party (Cupcakes and Cocktails)
    7:30pm - 8pm: Panel with OSI / Open Source Founders.

    The OSI will also be celebrating the Anniversary at the Community Leadership Summit, held just before OSCON (July 14-15). The event is free to attend, but registration is required:

  • Linux Australia Joins Open Source Initiative

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - July 5, 2017— Linux Australia, Inc, the organization representing thousands of Linux and open source community members in Australia, was recently accepted as a member of the Open Source Initiative, the global non-profit working to promote and protect open source software, further strengthening international relationships with partner organizations committed to free and open source software, hardware and culture.

    The Open Source Initiative is the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant. The organization's members play an important role across the world in community building, education and public advocacy to promote the importance of non-proprietary software. In doing so they further international awareness of how open source technologies, licenses and models of development can provide economic and strategic advantage.

    President of Linux Australia, Kathy Reid, was delighted with the move. “We’re incredibly proud to bring Linux Australia into the Open Source Initiative fold - joining a strong and active international community of practitioners, policy advocates and technologists committed to the benefits that open source technologies can provide. As the Open Source Initiative celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we look forward to partnering with both OSI and other partners to continue to strengthen international open source communities of practice. As new developments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and other emergent technologies come to the fore, the principles and ethos underpinning open source are more important than ever. “

    Patrick Masson, General Manager of the Open Source Initiative, was equally positive. “We’re honored to welcome Linux Australia as an OSI Affiliate Member. As a community-driven organization working to advance software freedom, Linux Australia serves as a model for open source collaboration, co-operation, and co-creation. Most already know of Linux Australia’s premier international conference,, however Linux Australia’s efforts to advance free and open source software are far broader: cultivating communities of practice, supporting projects to promote Linux, creating educational resources to further understanding and adoption. We look forward to working with Linux Australia and their membership--in all their activities--and thank them for their ongoing commitment and contributions to software freedom.”

    About Linux Australia

    Linux Australia is the peak body for Open Source communities in Australia. Linux Australia represents thousands of users and developers of Free Software and Open Technologies, and facilitates internationally-renowned events including—Australasia's grassroots Free and Open Source Software Conference. Individuals who join Linux Australia directly participate in online discussions on mailing lists covering a range of topics and user communities. Members of Linux Australia participate in sub- committees and special interest groups, organize events or stand for election to the Linux Australia council. Linux Australia Members may submit applications for funding for projects relevant to or beneficial to the Australian FOSS community under the grants program. Linux Australia membership is free and anyone can join.

    Media contact: Kathy Reid, President, Linux Australia

    About the Open Source Initiative

    Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative promotes and protects 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 Affiliate Program allows non-profit organizations to become OSI members--an ideal way to support the mission of the OSI and contribute to the continued awareness and adoption of open source software. Affiliate Membership A “who’s who” of open source communities. For more information about the OSI, see

    Media Contact: Italo Vignoli, Director, Open Source Initiative

    Image credit: " 2003" by Lauchlin at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons

  • Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Open Source at OSCON

    OSCON (Open Source Convention) has been the focal point of the open source movement. The inception of OSCON came from an event focused on Perl and grew to cover the other scripting languages. It has since evolved into the destination for all things free and open. The event has also provided a platform for the launch of major initiatives such as Kubernetes 1.0 and OpenStack—both announced at OSCON.

    This is a special year for OSCON, as the event will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary. OSCON will take place in Portland, Oregon, with training and tutorials happening July 16-17, and the conference happening July 18-19.

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), in conjunction with OSCON, will be celebrating our shared 20th Anniversary in July 18th. The OSI will be hosting a day of community-led lightning talks, open source related activities (historic exhibits, timelines, photo booths, etc.), culminating with an after party, “20 Years, Time for Cheers!”, right after the Booth Crawl.

    The OSI is organizing three main activities for OSCON:

    • Lightning talks: OSI community members will provide lightning talks to share how they are engaging with the open source community and finding success.
    • Stickers and Swag: We’ll have a dedicated space for our community to share promotional materials about their organizations, and open source projects.
    • After Party: All OSCON attendees are invited to our after party for “Cupcakes and Cocktails.” We want to celebrate this historic milestone for our community.

    OSCON Expo Plus passes are now available for FREE using the promo code EXPOFREE, or using the promo code “OSI20” to get 20% off any regular pass:

    The Expo Plus pass gives access to the “Open Source Anniversary” track (organized by the OSI) in room F149, while the regular pass gives access to OSCON’s "Open Source Past, Present, and Future" track, in room E146.

    The OSI will also be celebrating the Anniversary at the Community Leadership Summit, held just before OSCON (July 14-15). The event is free to attend, but registration is required:

    OSCON continues to be the catalyst for innovation, bringing together large corporations and grass-roots communities to share insights and foster change. Open source helps technology to thrive, and in its 20th year, OSCON continues on with the tradition of bringing the latest technological advances and a path to successfully implement open source.

  • Article 13 – An Existential Threat

    As Europe's latest copyright proposal heads to a critical vote on June 20-21, more than 70 Internet and computing luminaries have spoken out against a dangerous provision, Article 13, that would require Internet platforms to automatically filter uploaded content.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a letter from more than 70 leaders in the emerging meshed society (including me) which criticises Article 13 of the European Union’s proposed new copyright regulations. This Article starts from the assumption that the only role of an individual is to consume copyrighted works and hence deduces that any act of publication on the part of an indivdual must be infringing the copyrights of a corporation unless proven otherwise. The text doesn’t state things that clearly, but the effect is unmistakeable. It’s as if a politician was proposing to ban syringes because addicts use them, without considering that hospitals do too.

    The regulations go on to use the power of “safe harbour” – an increasingly popular legislative device that grants delay or immunity from prosecution as a party to an offence to a company if it can demonstrate it has taken specified actions. For example. it’s “safe harbour” that induces YouTube to take down your videos when a copyright holder asserts the bird song in the background is in fact a song they published. Getting that video re-posted involves you, an individual, taking on terrifying potential liability in the event the copyright holder litigates so YouTube can be absolved of it.

    In the case of the EU proposal things aren’t even that good – there’s no way for a platform to discharge liability and no appeals process specified, so any match in the filter will always mean a take-down you can’t fix. As the EFF say, “What began as a bad idea offered up to copyright lobbyists as a solution to an imaginary “value gap” has now become an outright crisis for future of the Internet as we know it.”

    This applies equally to open source communities. If Article 13 endures, every project may need to apply trigger-happy filtering and default censorship to bug reports, code commits, forum postings and pretty much every other element of normal community discourse. The service would of necessity have to be expensively acquired from proprietary vendors using opaquely-maintained databases and invisible algortithms. The financial risk of not doing so would be immense and the burden of doing so would be prohibitive.

    While changes have been made to the proposed rules to allegedly make space for open source projects, they are ineffective since they are not sufficiently conclusive to real project leaders and hosts; for example, they assume open source projects are “non-commercial”. It’s potentially an existential threat to open source projects across Europe.

    As the letter states,

    We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online. But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate Internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks. For the sake of the Internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.

    Both personally and on behalf of the Open Source Initiative, I urge the European Parliament to do this, and to strike Article 13 from this regulation to save Europe’s open source communities from having an inherent disadvantage on the world stage. The misguided rules may have passed in committee, but they must not be allowed to pass through the European Parliament.

    If you’d like to tell the MEP’s from your country your views on this, please visit – you have until July 3rd.

    Image credit: "og-copyrightbot-hd.png" is a derivative of "og-copyrightbot-hd.png", via Electronic Frontier Foundation, and used with permission under a Creative Commons with Attribution (CC-By) license.

    This article was originally published in Meshed Insights, and was made possible by Patreon patrons.