Free and open source software isn't the easiest thing to understand. But it's worth making the effort.
Some of the best software available is open source, but non-proprietary software has enemies as well as friends. If the Obama Administration expects to achieve its ambitious, technology-based policy goals, it would be wise to publicly declare its support for FOSS.
Software that could be freely edited existed long before proprietary programs became the norm — but then it largely disappeared. When source-available, "free and open software" (FOSS) reemerged in the marketplace, it did so in a manner that was novel from both a social as well as a legal perspective. Today, it is an increasingly important part of the information ...
Successful FOSS projects are invariably based upon a delicate balance of power between individual developers and corporate interests — a mutually beneficial relationship that does not always develop. In two recent blog entries, I gave my views on how that feat can best be achieved at the open software support foundation just launched by Microsoft.