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22 July 2009, 09:17

Open Source For America coalition formed

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Open Source For America logo A new coalition of seventy open source companies, academic institutions, communities, groups and individuals has been created to promote open source software to the US Federal government. The group, Open Source For America, plans to act as a central advocate for using open source and for participating in its creation. It aims to help change policies and practices, coordinating communities in collaborating with the government on technology and raising awareness of open source within the government.

Open Source For America has an advisory board which includes Canonical and Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth, Ingres CEO Roger Burkhardt, Stormy Peters, Eben Moglen, Tim O'Reilly, Sun's Simon Phipps, Red Hat's Michael Tiemann and the Linux Foundation's Executive Director Jim Zemlin among others, bringing a diverse mix to the organisation's guidance.

The founding members list is a who's who of open source. The list includes companies such as Alfresco, AMD, Black Duck, Canonical, CodeWeavers, Google, Ingres, JasperSoft, Mozilla, Novell, Oracle, O'Reilly, Red Hat, SugarCRM, Sun, Zimbra and Zamanda and individuals such as Monty Widnius, Mitch Kapor, Jono Bacon, Bdale Garbee and Geir Magnusson. Groups and organisations such as Debian, the GNOME Foundation,, the Linux Foundation, Software Freedom Law Centre and others, widen the reach of the coalition.

The coalition's site is headlined with a quote from Tim O'Reilly "with the proliferation of issues and a scarcity of resources to address them all, leaders inside and outside government are turning to the principles of participation, collaboration, transparency, and efficiency to address the challenges facing our country and the world". The site includes a Get Involved page for those wishing to work with them. That page requires that people signing up acknowledge the four freedoms, believe in a transparent, participatory, secure government and that open source can drive that change. To assist in the advocacy, a range of case studies of open source in government is also available on the site.


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