Working group will develop best practices for taxpayer-funded software.
Portland, Ore. – OSCON – July 19, 2012 – Open Source for America (OSFA), an organization of technology industry leaders, non-government associations, and academic and research institutions promoting the use of open source technologies in the U.S. Federal Government, today launched a petition to “Free the Code,” in an effort to encourage the government to release custom-developed, taxpayer-funded software as open source by default.
“Free the Code is an initiative to start a national conversation on taxpayer investments insoftware and information technology,” said John Scott, president of Selection Pressure, LLC and co-chair of Open Source for America’s steering committee. “Specifically, we’re interested in how publicly-funded software code developed by the government, which isn’t already covered by a proprietary license, should be made available to the wider public.”
Scott and Deb Bryant of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) co-chaired a “Free the Code” session at the Open Source Conference (OSCON) this week in Portland, Oregon to invite interested parties to join the debate. “Releasing code as open source would significantly increase reuse and collaborative development between federal agencies and the private sector,” said Bryant. “We hope that others agree and will sign our petition at We the People asking the Federal Government to share government-developed software under an open source license whenever possible.”
Free the Code is asking anyone with an interest in taxpayer-funded software to sign the petition at: http://goo.gl/K920J.The White House has pledged to respond to any petition on the We the People site that garners 25,000 signatures within 30 days.
Free the Code has launched a website to share and discuss government policies and best practices on open source software. Anyone who wishes to join the working group and develop model policies can sign up at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/freethecode.
About Open Source for America
Open Source for America (OSFA) is an organization of technology industry leaders, non-government associations and academic and research institutions dedicated to advocating the use of open source software in the U.S. Federal government. Participation in Open Source for America is open to any individual or entity signing the campaign’s mission pledge at: www.opensourceforamerica.org.