Category Archives: Strategy and Policy

UK Government mandates preferential selection of open source

While the UK government has for some time now been taking measures to level the playing field for open source software in the public sector, for example by pointing out open source options for proprietary systems, the new Government Service Design Manual goes one step further – mandating a preference for open source for government … Read more

OSS Watch releases Open Source Options for Education

We’ve written several times recently about the UK Cabinet Office’s Open Source Procurement Toolkit, and the Open Source Options document that forms part of it. The original document lists open source alternatives for common proprietary solutions that might be used in government and public sector organisations.  The types of software solutions listed are mostly generic … Read more

New Briefing Paper: “Open Source Options: Making Use Of The Cabinet Office Guidance On Open Source Software”

OSS Watch have released a new briefing paper on using the Open Source Options guidance document from the UK Cabinet Office. The briefing provides additional guidance on making use of Open Source Options for procurement in the education sector. View it here: Open Source Options: Making Use Of The Cabinet Office Guidance On Open Source … Read more


I have just got back from CENATIC in Spain, where myself and Ross Gardler (former OSS Watch manager and now Programme Lead at FOSS consultancy OpenDirective) have been giving training on the Software Sustainability Maturity Model and sharing ideas on future collaborations and the state of the FOSS world. CENATIC is located in Almendralejo, in the southern Spanish … Read more

Six Reasons Funded Projects Are Set Up To Fail

Agencies run funding programmes with an expectation that many will not lead to sustainable innovations in the longer term. But is the structure of funded projects itself causing projects to fail? Dr Cathy Gunn and Rhiannon Herrick have been investigating this issue, looking at 22 projects in Australasian higher education from the past five years, … Read more

Some questions about the Defensive Patent License

Jason Schultz and Jennifer Urban of UC Berkeley School of Law have distributed a paper which provides an interesting analysis of the state of the patent system and its relationship to open development. In essence, they suggest that rather than avoiding the patent system, open development communities should instead engage with it, seeking to patent and … Read more