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I was the first OSI board member elected by the OSI's Individual membership. I am now seeking reelection to another term as an OSI Board member, to continue my involvement in this important and revitalized community organization and to represent and advance the interests of open source software and the OSI's Individual membership.

About me

I am a lawyer with both substantive expertise and passionate interest in open source and free software legal and policy issues. I have been an enthusiastic user of free and open source software for some 18 years, and I have over 9 years of experience as a legal counselor for open source project developers, open source/free software nonprofits, and commercial organizations involved in open source use and development. I recently rejoined the legal department at Red Hat, where I served as lead open source counsel for several years. Before returning to Red Hat I worked at Hewlett-Packard as Senior Director and Associate General Counsel, responsible for open source strategy and compliance. I began my career focus in open source as counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, where  my principal client was the Free Software Foundation and where I focused on the drafting of the GPLv3 license family. Over the past several years I have spoken extensively on topics at the intersection of open source, law and policy, to diverse technical, legal and business audiences.

Why I'm running for reelection

The OSI's historical focus has been maintainer, guardian and interpreter of the Open Source Definition. Given my legal background, I am naturally drawn to this continuing part of the OSI Board's work. In the absence of much helpful legislative and judicial guidance, the OSI's license gatekeeping function is critical for establishing and strengthening the legal framework that allows open source development to prosper. The OSI must ensure that the Open Source Definition is up to date and easily understandable by members of the community. I continue to believe the OSI should also examine whether it can perform a more active role in defining norms of community project development and governance that go beyond the mostly legal criteria of the Open Source Definition. I strongly believe the OSI must be active in combatting "open-washing", the dilution of the meaning of open source.

The need to combat open-washing points to what may be a more vital aspect of the OSI's role today: education, advocacy and outreach to developers, individual users and business and nonprofit communities concerning the advancement of open source. If reelected I would like to devote more time to this work over the next year in collaboration with our General Manager, Patrick Masson, and the OSI's board members. I also believe the OSI should continue and expand its role as a leading charitable nonprofit in the open source space, by strengthening ties to nonprofits with aligned missions and interests. During my time as a Board member I have served as chair of the Affiliates committee, working with Patrick to grow our network of nonprofit member organizations, and I have been pleased to see points of collaboration between the OSI and my former client the FSF, and the OSI's fiscal sponsorship arrangement with OpenHatch.

Feel free to ask me any questions. Thank you!

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Created by Richard Fontana on 2015.02.11 at 21:41:36 PST
    

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