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I am running for an individual director of the OSI.

I am running because the open source is under threat and needs to be more aggressively defended. OSI should enhance its role as a certification and standard-setting organization. That is essentially what OSI is: it sets standards for what should be considered "open source," measures compliance with those standards, and publishes the results. This role should be considered foremost in what the OSI does.

Why is that? Because without a sure foundation, all our other efforts to expand and assist the open source community will be less effective.

There are several different aspects to this.

Trademarks: 
The OSI logo is a registered trademark, but not the term "open source." I am aware of the history relating to early efforts to register the term. We can still act, and in some ways our position has gotten better as open source has become more important and more recognized in the industry. But there are concerted efforts to water down the term "open source" so that it becomes meaningless. We need to resist these efforts and establish a firm legal foundation that will help everyone going forward.

I am familiar with this issue from my time with the Python Software Foundation, an OSI affiliate member. For a long time, IP and the "Python" trademarks were "check the box"-type items. But starting in 2012, a number of different organizations tried to play off the goodwill of the Python name and establish trademarks that could hurt the PSF. I took the lead in resolving those situations and have since helped the PSF make sure that we have the tools and processes needed to avoid similar problems in the future.

Non-open-source licenses:
There is an increasing tendency to  put out new licenses and refer to them, incorrectly, as "open source." For example, the "Responsible AI Licenses" effort was just published at <https://www.licenses.ai/ai-licenses>. Their source code license is located at <https://www.licenses.ai/open-source-license>. Look at the URL - these are not open source licenses. They haven't been approved, and if submitted, they would not comply with the open source definition. This creates confusion and weakens the OSI - and the community.

About me:
I have been involved with open source as a developer and organizer for twenty years. By day I am a lawyer, and by night I write code for fun. I have been heavily involved in the Python community since 2006, acting as PyCon chair, Chair of Board of Directors, and General Counsel.

Professionally, I focus on the intersection of technology and law, with an emphasis on open source. This includes professionally advocating for open source. See the PSF's brief before the Supreme Court, and a law journal article recently accepted for publication in the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review (soon to appear at http://stlr.org/ and in the Spring edition of Volume XX). I also wrote "Intellectual Property and Open Source" for O'Reilly.

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Created by Patrick Masson on 2019.03.01 at 11:45:53 PST
    

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