"Defendant Pavlovich is a leader in the so-called "open
source" movement, which is dedicated to the proposition that
material, copyrighted or not, should be made available over the
Internet for free."
This claim is both incorrect and defamatory. The Open Source
Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is the custodian
of of the Open Source Definition and widely recognized in the open
source community for its educational and advocacy work on behalf of
the that community, takes the strongest possible exception to
We in the open source movement respect copyright; in fact, we
use copyright law to underpin the licenses that define the social
contract of our community. The basis of Matthew Pavlovich's work,
and of our community's opposition to the DVDCCA lawsuit, lies in
that social contract; a belief, founded in both engineering
pragmatics and ethical conviction, in the *voluntary*
sharing of program source code and the *voluntary*
renunciation of secrecy.
The core principles of open source are transparency,
responsibility, and autonomy. As open source developers, we expose
our source code to constant scrutiny by expert peers. We stand
behind our work with frequent releases and continuing inputs of
service and intelligence. And we support the rights of developers
and artists to make their own choices about the design and
disposition of their creative work.
The results of this policy of openness can be seen in the
enormous public benefit that has come through the open-source
movement's works: the World Wide Web, the core software of the
Internet itself, and the Linux operating system.
While we advocate the full disclosure of code, and we support
Matthew Pavlovich's right to reverse-engineer proprietary
technology in order to permit Linux users to play DVDs that they
legally own on machines they legally own, we oppose piracy and
reject as a prejudicial falsehood the DVDCCA's attempts to tie the
open source community to copyright violation.
Issued by and for the Board of Directors of OSI
by Eric S. Raymond, President
28 August 2000
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