Why I am a Member of the Open Source Initiative

And you should be, too.

Full disclosure: I sit on the Board of the Open Source Initiative and am running for reelection in 2015. My board seat is a volunteer position and I receive no financial compensation for this work.

For the first time ever, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is running a membership drive to recruit more individual members. The goal is to recruit 2,398 new members, with that number chosen in homage to the organization’s founding date on February 3, 1998. As an individual member of the OSI, you receive a number of benefits for joining:

While the benefits you receive for your 40 USD annual membership dues are pretty great, they’re not the only reasons to support the OSI by becoming a member today. (I’d say there not even the best reasons to become a member, but I’m a big fan of participatory democracy so I’m hesitant to say the first bullet above isn’t the best reason to join. 🙂 )

By joining the OSI as an Individual Member, your voice and membership dollars are put to good use in the service of the OSI’s mission: to promote and protect open source software. The OSI accomplishes its mission in a number of ways:

  • Providing an incubator framework and set of collaboration tools for various working groups, such as the newly launched group to work with crowdfunding sites to ensure claims that products are open source are accurate and the creation of a curated content library for professionals who need to learn about open source software.
  • Raising awareness of the good works of our individual and affiliate members through our blog, social media and our monthly newsletter.
  • Building bridges between communities who can benefit from open source software, e.g. convening the Open Communities Reception at EDUCAUSE 2014, along with OSI Affiliate Member The Apereo Foundation. (For those who are not familiar with it, EDUCAUSE is the largest conference worldwide on the subject of IT and higher education.)
  • Educating the public at large about open source software through contact with the media, in-person events and curated content.
  • Reviewing and/or approving new open source software licenses.

With your help as an Individual Member, the OSI can not only continue to execute on these strategic initiatives, we can also break new ground on additional projects, such as giving http://opensource.org a much needed overhaul. Even more importantly, with each new member joining us, the power of our support and promotion of open source software becomes ever stronger.

I hope you will join us today and participate in our upcoming election for Board of Director Individual Members.

Joining takes less than 5 minutes and just 40 USD. You can become a member for one year or have your membership fees renewed automatically each year.

Please support the OSI now!

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2 Responses to Why I am a Member of the Open Source Initiative

  1. andy says:

    The problem I see is that this gives no real benefit for European citizens as the whole organisation is dominated by Americans and their code of conduct that I don’t feel at home at.

    Any plans for a European branch?

    • Hi Andy,

      I’m confused by your comment. Where’s the Code of Conduct?

      You are correct that the OSI is registered as a non-profit in the United States, but its advocacy has a global impact. Three of our current Board Members reside outside of the United States, 2 in the EU, so I respectfully disagree that there is no benefit for European citizens.

      If you are interested in organizations in the EU involved in software advocacy, you may want to check out the Free Software Foundation Europe, https://fsfe.org/index.en.html

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