The Debian Project joins the OSI
March 30th, 2012
The Debian Project is pleased to announce that it is joining the
Open Source Initiative (
as an affiliate.
The OSI was founded in 1998 by Eric S. Raymond and Bruce Perens, with
the aim of explaining, advocating, and protecting the term
source. Debian shares the OSI's desire to encourage
Free Software. Debian's Social Contract commits it to
producing a system which is 100% free.
Open Source Definition
is closely based on the
Free Software Guidelines, the document that defines the
types of software licenses which the Debian Project accepts.
For many years now, the OSI has helped the
Open Source trademark
gain recognition, particularly in the corporate world. The OSI
recently decided to pursue this mission by becoming a member-led
organisation, and as a first step has invited Free and Open Source Software
projects to become affiliate members.
By becoming an affiliate of the OSI, the Debian Project recognises the OSI's history of efforts towards goals shared by both organisations. However, the Debian Project will not automatically adopt OSI decisions on the acceptability of particular software licenses and will maintain an independent license review process.
For widespread Free Software adoption we still need to overcome many
challenges, said Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader.
is perfectly suited to face technical challenges, other organisations
are better suited to face more political ones, like anti-Free Software
corporate FUD, or unjust
worldwide laws that make it illegal to share pieces of Free Software. I value
the work that OSI is doing in those areas. Thanks to their new affiliation
scheme, I'm looking forward to Debian taking an active role in OSI.
Simon Phipps of the OSI welcomed Debian to the organisation, saying,
great to have Debian joining the new affiliate scheme; the project's
breadth of experience will be a valuable addition. The Board is keen to
make progress and having a diverse and representative Affiliate
membership is crucial if we are to make well-founded decisions in each of
the challenging changes we anticipate.
About the Open Source Initiative
The OSI are the stewards of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognised body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant. The OSI is actively involved in Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software.
The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly
free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of
the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of
volunteers from all over the world work together to create and
maintain Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and
supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the
universal operating system.
For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <email@example.com>.