☞ White House Does Open Source

It was delightful to see yesterday that WhiteHouse.gov released open source code for its web site customisations. This is another landmark in the acceptance of open source as a mainstream artifact, and another blow to those trying to get the US Trade Representative to use the presence of open source as a DNA marker for badness in foreign governments.

While there are traces of positivity in the Conservative manifest around open source, I see nothing as strong in the UK as this practice-what-you-preach action by Obama’s administration. We need to ask the people knocking on our doors the next two weeks why they are ignoring digital liberty issues.

✍ Software Freedom Has A Posse

OSfA Logo§ Software freedom has a posse – in Washington DC, at least.

You’ll recall I posted a long analysis of the sick position the IIPA took urging the US Trade Representative (USTR) to discriminate against countries around the world if they have a preference for software freedom. That analysis become an input for the excellent position statement, written collaboratively by the OSI Board and posted by OSI President Michael Tiemann, calling for action by national groups.

I hear today that this has indeed resulted in positive action in Washington DC. Campaigning group Open Source for America issued a press statement yesterday, and wrote a two page position statement that they submitted to USTR. I gather they also met personally with a USTR representative to assert the position on behalf of America’s open source communities. I’m pretty sure this is the first time open source has been actively represented in Washington – about time!

This is an excellent development – kudos to the team that made it happen. We formed OSfA so that software freedom would have a political posse in Washington DC, and this first outing has shown that was the right move.

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