FOSS Sustainability


Overview of FOSS/Open Source Sustainability and Pay The Maintainers movements.

View the Project on GitHub ShaneCurcuru/fosssustainability


Governments set legislative policies, provide grants, and are often major software users.

Relationships With Other Aspects

Vocabularies used: legal, policy, standards,
Timescale aspect changes: long,
Scope of aspect: large,
Relationship with other aspects: ecosystem, company, education,
Primary focus: legal

Governments may seem removed from open source communities, but impact sustainability in many ways over the long term.

  • Policy setting National and some regional governments pass legislation or set policies that affect FOSS in many indirect ways, and some direct ways like the EU’s product liability legislation.
  • Software usage Governments are often large consumers of software, and procurement policies or actions often have broad effects when businesses in those jurisdiction default to following those procurement policies.
  • Software contributions Whether with direct contributions due to use in government agencies, or through consultant or third party contributions focused on providing support to agencies, governments often drive significant contributions.
  • Grant funding Many government agencies lead or influence funding grants for a wide variety of purposes.

Governments also introduce complexity when legislation or policy differs by jurisdiction. While open source software is just “everywhere on the internet”, the communities of organizations and individuals that manage that software are constrained by their jurisdiction.

Sustainability Questions

Government involvement, policy, and funding vary widely in different jurisdictions. How can we use the organized experience in the EU for funded research or project grant work in other countries? Are there vocabularly translations between EU policy makers and US policy makers?

Ideas and References

Other Reference Links

Tags: Organization | Policy | Funder | Grant