NESSI has published a short paper explaining the strong need for a balanced view on the advantages and the risks of OSS.
The European Commission has adopted an OSS strategy and has published an OSS impact study. The geopolitical tensions and the uncertainties related to cybersecurity, supply chains and markets have a greater impact on OSS ecosystems than outlined by the EC study, and therefore require more attention. For example, some popular open-source libraries have been corrupted by the maintainers of the OSS packages to protest the invasion of Ukraine and to sabotage software systems. OSS security practices need urgently to be improved to cover these new threats, and geopolitical considerations must be taken into account when deciding whether or not to share results of European research as OSS.
NESSI considers the following to be particularly important elements of an OSS strategy:
- the governance and the health of the developer community behind an OSS project;
- the security of OSS; and
- the total cost of using OSS.
NESSI recommends that the European Commission should:
- continue supporting the Open Source model as one way to facilitate easy access to fundamental technology under equal conditions to all organisations across Europe;
- not require that all software developed in the context of publicly supported projects should be open source; and
- take a balanced view on OSS, considering multiple aspects including the strategic value of the results of R&D&I activities.
Read the short paper here: A Balanced View of Open Source Software