The Open Food Network is a free, open source, scalable e-commerce marketplace and logistics platform that enables communities and producers to connect, trade, and coordinate the movement of food. It was founded by Serenity Hill and Kirsten Larsen, and besides being a network of consumers and producers, Open Food Network is built on free and open source software and released under AGPL license. Plus, anyone can contribute to the project on GitHub.
After India, it seems the French public are the next in queue favouring open source for government administrative offices. The results of a public consultation on France’s Digital Republic bill came out after 20 days of public voting and debate. 147,710 votes were cast, 8501 proposals received and 21,330 participants took part.
The proposal was submitted by April, France’s free software advocacy group and the one relevant to open source software usage in administrative offices is in the third spot in the results.
I am a user of open source software. My earliest experiences with open source software was with the Minecraft server software Bukkit as a kid, when I was attempting to make a cool game server for friends. I started using Fedora in December 2013 with my first laptop, ending a lifetime of using Apple devices. I like to believe that I am familiar and experienced with open source software as an everyday user.
Open source innovation is a phrase we tend to associate with post-millennial creativity, but it’s actually a 300-year-old idea. Benjamin Franklin famously did not patent his lighting rod, his bifocals, his stove, and many other of his inventions because he thought that these ideas were simply too important not to share.
This is the same mindset behind today’s open source movement: unrestricted access to designs, products, and ideas to be used by an unlimited number of people in a variety of sectors for diverse purposes.
It’s not enough to mitigate this ban on open source by partial mitigation to allow secret disclosure to governments. Our perspective is that simply having source made available for viewing by select parties is not sufficient. Source code related to public regulatory matters should be released under an OSI approved license and thus made available to all those who use the software. Doing so allows them to study, improve and share the software as well as to check that their lives are not negatively impacted by its defects. Ideally, all software written using public funds should also be made available as open source.
There’s much else in TPP to be concerned about, as the EFF notes, but this clause is especially regressive and is cause alone to reject the agreement. The clock is ticking — President Obama notified Congress on November 5 that he intends to ratify TPP on behalf of the USA — so the time to protest is now.