SourceForge Finds Openness in Restraint

A few days ago the open source community was livid at a request from the US Department of Commerce that required to enforce restrictions on users based on their location. You can read more about what occurred here and my coverage here. In reaction to the outcry from the SourceForge community, as well as their own inclinations, the SF team has released the following statement:

Beginning now, every project admin can click on Develop -> Project Admin -> Project Settings to find a new section called Export Control. By default, we’ve ticked the more restrictive setting. If you conclude that your project is *not* subject to export regulations, or any other related prohibitions, you may now tick the other check mark and click Update. After that, all users will be able to download your project files as they did before last month’s change.

We at SourceForge are fully committed to the ideals of free and open source software, including the principle of free exchange of information. We recognize that, for some people, the recent site changes called into question whether your support of us is justified. The changes that we deployed today are intended to empower our projects and reward your continued trust.

We recognize that this change isn’t the completely free access to everything for everyone that some would like. As a US-based web site, SourceForge remains committed to complying fully with all relevant US laws and regulations, including those affecting the distribution of software. But we are also working as diligently as possible to ensure that our compliance is coupled with the highest quality of service that we can offer to our diverse, global user base.

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About the author: Jonathan Gosier is a UI designer, software developer and writer. He currently lives in Kampala, Uganda where he incubates and invests in East African entrepreneurs as the CEO of Appfrica Labs. He's also a TED Fellow.
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