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Open Source Readiness - Weekly Update - 23 May 2023

May 23, 2023

This year at FINOS we are focusing on one of FINOS' key existing projects: Open Source Readiness. This is FINOS' term for helping the finance industry "do open source properly". 

Last week we had a lively Open Source Readiness meeting. Broadly, we were reviewing this PR, which looks at how to sell the idea of contributing to open source and then how to craft an open source policy from within your firm.

This prompted all kinds of discussion from the group.  

We talked about the intersection of open source with social media policy: which kinds of social media are allowed to be used for open source within a regulated financial firm? Should we only allow social media that can be tracked and recorded in a record-keeping system? Does record keeping even apply to open source work? Does it count as bank business?

We talked about labour regulations: Thomas Steenbergen raised the interesting point that if firms don’t allow staff to contribute to open source then often they just do it on their own time anyway (in the evening). This causes problems with the EU Working Time regulations! People are working too many hours!  What to do about that?

A further conundrum we discussed was intellectual property law. In most jurisdictions, any copyright material (such as code) you write is owned by your employer. This includes open source code you might write for your business… but also any personal projects too. This also creates a compliance issue for firms as Gil Yehuda pointed out - why does the firm now have pieces of its intellectual property on public websites? 

We also touched on anti-trust law (can open source help build a monopoly?) and accounting laws (can subsidiary companies “donate” open source to each other?)

… and all of these issues are up for further discussion in the next SIG meeting on 7th June. Hope to see you there!

… and finally it’s not too late (at the time of writing) to sign up for the FINOS Open House & Member Meeting on June 14th & 15th, where we’ll be getting into all of this stuff in even more detail! View the full agenda here (more to come). 

Author: Rob Moffat


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