We need to change the way we advocate for Open

For the last year or so, Open Source educational and advocacy work by our think tank, OpenForum Europe, has been framed by a key question: “Why did Open Source Software development end up as an unintended casualty in the original proposal of the EU’s Copyright Directive?”

In a time when the digital transformation is at the heart of many policy discussions in Brussels, and when Open Source-dependent technology such as IoT, Cloud, blockchain and supercomputers are hot topics, no one involved in drafting the legislation thought of software development. In short, the platforms and repositories used by developers to drive the digital transformation through the collaborative development of code were forgotten.

Consequently, as the platforms fell into the scope of the Copyright Directive’s filtering obligations, they ran the risk of being regulated out of practical existence in the EU, or at least their users would experience a very negative cooling effect on innovation.

Astor speaking at our talks on Open Source in Government.

In response to this regulatory risk, OpenForum Europe and the Free Software Foundation Europe started the SaveCodeshare.eu campaign. In the end we were successful in excluding software platforms from the final law. That said (and there is a lot to say about the process of getting there and the many other consequences of the Copyright Directive as a whole) our main takeaway was the grim realisation that Open Source software was overlooked, despite software being largely regulated by copyright law.

On the one hand, this says something about knowledge gaps that exist among policy makers. But on the other hand, it also says something about the state of Open Source advocacy in Europe. Advocacy has not followed the times and is way behind reflecting the reality of the role and position of Open Source in everything digital.

Open Source advocacy is still reactive. Communities of activists and advocates should (perhaps must) build the capacity to be proactive.

The need for a maturing of Open Source representation in politics goes beyond simply not being overlooked when drafting digitally relevant legislation. In our view, with Open Source having gone mainstream, there are new risks and opportunities arising. That means that the political conversation around Open Source has to go beyond what it has focused on in the past, to how to become acknowledged as being of strategic importance for Europe’s digital future.

To be part of that conversation, the Open Source ecosystem needs to build the capacity to become trusted partners of governments and public authorities, in order to capture the big opportunities.

We believe that to make that happen, to not just fend off regulatory risk, but also capture the opportunities that are out there, all stakeholders in the ecosystem need to step up. From the developers, Open Source vendors to the large IT and industrial companies that develop and/or depend on Open Source’s innovative benefits, there needs to be more effort, energy and resources spent on political representation and educational efforts.

We have to at least take on the collective responsibility to make sure that Open Source Software never becomes an unintended casualty again. For those stakeholders that look further than defensive efforts, we need to be part of the conversations around the digitization of all sectors of our society. It is also our responsibility to do our part in ensuring that the much talked about Digital Sovereignty describes a digital reality that is neither locked-in to a small group of monopolistic vendors or for that matter, a chauvinist approach of a Europe closed for global collaboration.

Europe’s digital future should be based on Open.

OSS 2016 Call For Contributions


The 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems (http://oss2016.org)

Gothenburg, Sweden, 30 May – 02 June 2016

Scope of OSS 2016

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) has had a disruptive effect on the software industry and the ways that organizations and individuals create, distribute, acquire and use software and software-based services. The FLOSS movement has created new kinds of opportunities such as the emergence of new business models, knowledge exchange mechanisms, and collective development approaches. On the other hand, the movement has introduced new kinds of challenges, especially as different problem domains embrace openness as a pervasive problem solving strategy. FLOSS can be complex yet widespread and often cross-cultural. Consequently, they require an interdisciplinary understanding of their technical, economic, legal and socio-cultural dynamics.

Many organizations that have been known for developing proprietary software are now actively involved with FLOSS. FLOSS adoption continues to grow among businesses, governments, and other organizations. FLOSS remains important for educators and researchers, as well as an important aspect of e-government and information society initiatives, providing access to high-quality software and the code used to create it.

The goal of 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2016 is to provide an international forum where a diverse community of professionals from academia, industry and public sector, and diverse FLOSS initiatives can come together to share research findings and practical experiences. The conference is also a forum to provide information and education to practitioners, identify directions for further research, and to be an ongoing platform for technology transfer, no matter which form of FLOSS is being pursued.


The 9th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS) 2013 – Isola, Slovenia 25/06/2013


Hotel Marina, Manzioli Palace
Izola/Isola, Slovenia
June 25-28, 2013

Theme of the Conference

The goal of the 9th International Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2013 is to provide an international forum where a diverse community of professionals from academia, industry and public sector, and diverse FOSS initiatives can come together to share research findings and practical experiences. The conference is meant to provide information to practitioners, identify directions for further research, and to be an ongoing platform for technology transfer, no matter which form of FOSS is being pursued.

Topics of Interest

FOSS Verification
– Dynamic FOSS Verification: FOSS Testing, Debugging, type of tests,
use of test suits
– Static FOSS Verification – software analysis
– Formal FOSS Verification
– Detection of bad practices and adoption of coding conventions
– OSS metrics: measuring FOSS Performance, Safety, and Quality
– Standardization of verification processes and presentation of
verification results

FOSS as innovation
– Adoption/ use / acceptance of FOSS
– Dissemination / redistribution / crowdsourcing of FOSS systems
– Expanding scientific research and technology development methods
through openness
– Adopting innovation in FOSS projects
– Role of FOSS in ICT and sustainable development

FOSS practices and methods
– FOSS and traditional / agile development methods
– FOSS and decentralized development
– Knowledge and documentation management in FOSS

FOSS technologies
– FOSS over the Internet
– Security of FOSS
– Interoperability / portability / scalability of FOSS
– Open standards / open data / open cloud / open hardware / open
– Reuse in FOSS
– FOSS for entertainment
– FOSS for education
– Architecture and design of FOSS

Economic / organizational / social issues on FOSS
– Economic analysis of FOSS
– Sustainability business models of FOSS
– Maturity models of FOSS
– FOSS in public sector
– FOSS intellectual property, copyrights and licensing
– Non-Governmental Organizations and FOSS

More information

For more information please see the conference’s web site.

maddog at Birmingham City University

Hear maddog talk at Birmingham City University about “Making and Saving Money with Free Software and Open Hardware” – There is much confusion about how people can make or save money with Free Software. As it turns out, there are more ways that people can make money with Free Software than there are with closed source, proprietary software.  This talk illustrates some of those ways, how to formulate a business plan around Free Software and how to avoid traps that make unprofitable companies.

Register for your tickets at: http://lpi-uk.eventbrite.co.uk/

Jon “maddog” Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International (www.li.org), an association of computer users who wish to support and promote the Linux Operating System. During his career in commercial computing which started in 1969, Mr. Hall has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, author and educator.

He has worked for such companies as Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, VA Linux Systems, and SGI. He currently works as an independent consultant, and is currently involved with bringing environmentally friendly computing to emerging marketplaces through Project Cauã (www.projectcaua.org), as well as consulting for Futura Networks, the parent company of Campus-Party.org

Mr Hall has worked on many systems, both proprietary and open, having concentrated on Unix systems since 1980 and Linux systems since 1994, when he first met Linus Torvalds and correctly recognized the commercial importance of Linux and Free and Open Source Software.

He has taught at Hartford State Technical College (HSTC), Merrimack College and Daniel Webster College. While at HSTC his students gave him the nickname of “maddog”.

Mr. Hall is the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles, many presentations and one book, “Linux for Dummies”.

Mr. Hall has consulted with the governments of China, Malaysia and Brasil as well as the United Nations and many local and state governments on the use of Free and Open Source Software.

Mr. Hall serves on the boards of several companies, and several non-profit organizations.

Mr. Hall has traveled the world speaking on the benefits of Open Source Software having received his BS in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University, and his MSCS from RPI in Troy, New York.

Dries to visit the London ‘Drupal Beer and Chat’ 1

Monday the 29th March Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, will be visiting the London ‘Drupal Beer and Chat’ from 7pm to 11pm.
He will give a short presentation, followed by a question and answer session and then a few drinks.
It is free to attend and open to anyone interested in the world of OSS, especially Drupal. To attend please register here:

London Drupal Pub Meet

London, GB
1,052 Members

A chance to meet up with other people in London who use Drupal. This will be a very informal event and all are welcome: developers, designers, hobbyists, business users, peopl…

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Last Drupal Beer & Chat for 2015

Monday, Nov 30, 2015, 7:00 PM
38 Attending

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