The Open Source Institute (OSI) - also known as the Open Source Initiative (OSI) - is an organization dedicated to promote Open Source Software (OSS). It was founded in February 1998 by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond. They certified software licenses based on their own definition of what open source means. Software that is distributed under this license may carry the certification mark of the OSI.1)
Thus the OSI is a membership-based, non-profit organization comprised of corporate, government, academic and open source development community representatives whose mission is to promote the development and implementation of open source network solutions within the worldwide Open Source Community (OSC).
The prehistory of the OSI includes the entire history of Unix, internet free software, as well as the whole hacker culture. OSI was formed as an educational, advocacy, and stewardship organization at a cusp moment in the history of that culture.
Most important milestones were:
The goal of the original board was to build a sustainable institution to represent the OSC and exercise stewardship of the OSD. To this end it adopted by laws and applied for recognition as non-profit organization.2)
The importance of the OSI has just been increasing in parallel to the importance of OSS at an astounding rate, starting with the formation of the OSI in 1998.
Thus OSS has increased its market share in various areas of the software infrastructure market. Within the last years a few important segments were entirely dominated by OSS, such as Website Storage – for example the OSS “Apache Web server”.3)
Furthermore, by today numerous other licenses have been approved via the official OSI license review process.4) The goal of this license review process is to ensure that licenses and software labeled as “open source” conforms to existing community norms and expectations.5)