Feeds

SourceForge bars 5 nations from open source downloads

Some countries more equal than others

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Open-source code repository SourceForge.net has begun automatically blocking the internet addresses of users from countries such as Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, and Syria in an attempt to enforce a policy forbidding them from downloading free software.

The move infuriated many purists of the free and open-source software movement, who argue such code should be available to anyone willing to uphold the covenants of the licensing agreement. Like Google's open-source code repository, SourceForge terms of service have long barred people from uploading and downloading code if they reside in countries on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list.

Starting last week, SourceForge started blocking certain IP addresses to enforce that prohibition. In a blog post Monday, SourceForge didn't say what prompted the move, but it did claim the change didn't sit well with the organization's ideals.

"However, in addition to participating in the open source community, we also live in the real world, and are governed by the laws of the country in which we are located," the post stated. "Our need to follow those laws supersedes any wishes we might have to make our community as inclusive as possible."

Critics wasted no time lambasting the restriction. One person commenting on the SourceForge blog argued the restriction is a violation of Section 5 of the open source definition which states licenses must not discriminate "against any person or group of persons." Critics also claimed the restrictions fly in the face of comments made last week by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging internet freedom. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.