Last modified by Stefano Maffulli on 2023/02/17 01:53


About me

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I'm active in a handful of open source projects: I'm an Ubuntu Developer, a Debian Maintainer and DebConf organizer, contributor to OpenStack, on the board of the Perl Foundation, emeritus board member of the Python Software Foundation, and co-founder of the FLOSS Foundations group for open source leaders. Of historical interest to OSI members: I was the primary drafter of the Artistic License 2.0 and the Perl Foundation contributor license agreement, a review committee member for GPLv3, and one of the drafters of the amicus brief (for OSI, Creative Commons, etc) that turned the tide for the Jacobsen v. Katzer case.

Why I'm running for election

It's been a great privilege to serve on the OSI board over the past year. During that time I've served as the chair of the Membership Committee, as well as managing the Individual Membership Portfolio. As part of that, I've been working with Patrick Masson to establish a member login area on opensource.org, where members can track their membership status, available discounts (such as conference fee discounts on OSCON and LinuxCon), and update address or payment information. I also started and have been the board sponor of a new working group looking into the IRS's apparent shift in attitude toward FLOSS non-profits. One year seems like barely enough time to get started on these initiatives and other work needed by the OSI, so I would like to volunteer for another 2 year term.

I believe that licensing will continue to be absolutely essential to the future of open source. I agree with the concerns over license proliferation that started in the mid-2000's (I was one of the active amplifiers of the meme), and I'm pleased that the flood of new licenses we feared has been prevented, focusing people down on a few "standard" choices. But at the same time, I fully expect the next 30 years of international law to be every bit as interesting as the past 30 years, which means that open source licensing must continue to evolve with the times. I've been thrilled to see efforts like Richard Fontana's copyleft-next, that re-examine our base assumptions and actively look to the future. It's not something that needs radical change, just a steady, thoughtful eye to the future.

Another important aspect of the OSI's mission is education. Plenty of open source projects have achieved brand recognition even in the wilds of tech consumership (Firefox, Ubuntu, Android, etc.), so what we're aiming for isn't so much broadcasting the existence of open source, as it is broadcasting the meaning of open source. Our greatest challenge in the next decade or so is making sure the signal of software freedom isn't lost in the noise of general technical progress. It's partly an act of definition: what is and isn't open source. It's partly an act of interpretation: evaluating current events in the light of open source, and re-evaluating open source in light of current events. And it's partly an act of inspiration: highlighting successes (and failures) and pointing the way to the future. This is an area where I think the OSI can and should have a substantial impact, not as an exclusive owner, but as an influential participant in the open source community.

Contact information

Feel free to ask questions here or contact me on Twitter (@allisonrandal). Thanks

Created by Allison Randal on 2015/02/05 00:25

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