OSI Reaffirms Commitment to Open Source Definition

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According to the organisation, efforts have been made to undermine the integrity of open source by claiming there is no need for a single, authoritative definition.

 open sourceOpen Source Initiative (OSI) and affiliate members have pledged to guard and maintain the Open Source Definition (OSD) and recognize the organisation as the steward of the open source definition.

Founded in late February 1998, OSI is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting open-source software.

The term “open source software” was coined in 1998 as software that provides a set of precise freedoms and benefits, including but not limited to the freedoms to run, study, redistribute, and improve the software on which you rely.

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These benefits are codified in the Open Source Definition (OSD), which is based on the Debian Free Software Guidelines. The Open Source Initiative, its members, affiliates, and sponsors, promote and protect this fundamental definition through software license review and approval.

“Without this single, standard definition of ‘open source,’ software development as we know it would not be possible. There is no trust in a world where anyone can invent their own definition for open source, and without trust there is no community, no collaboration, and no innovation,” OSI said in a release.

Safeguarding the integrity of open source

According to the organisation, efforts have been made to undermine the integrity of open source by claiming there is no need for a single, authoritative definition.

These efforts, the OSI said, are motivated by the interests of a few rather than the benefit of all, and are at odds with the principles that have so demonstratively served the open source community well in the past decades.

“If allowed to continue, these efforts will erode the trust of both users and contributors, and hinder the innovation that is enabled by open source software, just as surely as having multiple definitions of a kilogram would erode and undermine commerce,” the organisation noted.

Affirming its commitment to the Open Source Definition, the Board of Directors of the Open Source Initiative concluded, “We acknowledge its importance to the development of the software on which we rely to operate our businesses and organizations. We pledge to guard and maintain the Open Source Definition, and we recognize the Open Source Initiative as the steward of the Open Source Definition.”

 

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