Sounding the open source bugle

OSI announces Individual Membership scheme

Chris Mayer

The timing was perfect – at OSCON, the Open Source Initiative have open its doors to all

After successfully deploying their Affiliate Membership programme, which attained some pretty poweful allies, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has sounded the call for individual members to join the organisation and support its open source-advocating goals.

The timing couldn’t have been much better, coinciding with OSCON – the biggest open source gathering going. The non-profit organisation is now accepting applications for Individual Membership, where individuals will become involved in OSI governance. Applicants are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation of $40 (where possible, accrued annually).

The move is another step in the OSI’s radical restructuring process, shifting towards a completely member-driven structure, moving away from the model where self-appointed directors were present. After 14 years with this outdate model, the board decided to open up the OSI more – to allow developers, users and vendors a more direct role in its advocacy.

At the helm of this overhaul is OSI president Simon Phipps, appointed this year to oversee the big move – an ideal candidate given his passion for preaching the open source state of mind. His first proposal was to open the Affiliate Membership program, inviting not-for-profit organisations into the fold. Currently, 22 members are on the books – from Apache to Wikimedia, and just recently, three more Affiliates have joined. These include the Open Source Software Institute, the Python Software Foundation, and the Brazilian Java user group Soujava. The latter is especially encouraging to hear, with one of the most proactive and biggest community groups around getting onboard.

Phipps said: “The transformation of the OSI into a member-based organization is a timely and important step for the worldwide open source community”.

The new Individual Membership category allows individuals to support the mission and work of the OSI by joining discussions about that work and help shape the future for the OSI itself. This isn’t a mandatory requirement for Members however. It’s well worth your while supporting a very important cause for software development, helping educate others on the merits of open source models. Due to economic embargoes, donations cannot be accepted from all countries. Check here for more details. Why not get involved!

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