Open source group goes international with new board

The Open Source Initiative has expanded its board of directors to include members from Netherlands, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the organization best known for deciding what is and what is not open source, has expanded its board of directors to include representatives from outside the U.S., board member Danese Cooper said Friday.

OSI has expanded the size of its board from five to nine members and added representatives from the Netherlands, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan. Long-time member and former president Eric Raymond has stepped down from the board, but will remain involved with the organization, Cooper said.

The OSI has been struggling lately with the task of reducing the number of different and often incompatible open source licenses it has approved.

To date, the OSI has determined more than 50 software licenses to be open source compatible, and critics have said that this large number of open source licenses has left some users confused as to whether or not they are following the licensing terms of their software. They have called on the organization to reduce the number of approved licenses to a much smaller number.

The volunteer group is now forming a committee to find ways to address this issue, and plans to make it more difficult to add licenses to the OSI's approved list, Cooper said. "There will be more stringent rules for what is an approvable license going forward," she said.

By adding non-U.S. members to the board, the group hopes to take an "international perspective," to solving the problem, she said.

The names of the new board members can be found on Cooper's Web log: http://danesecooper.blogs.com/divablog/

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