Open source advocate suggests incentive program

An open-source software advocate is proposing an incentive program to encourage developers to release their source code after it has earned a certain amount of money.

The Open-Source Threshold Escrow Program, or O-STEP, would give government agencies access to competitively priced e-government applications without proprietary lock-ins, said Tony Stanco, associate director of the Cybersecurity Policy and Research Institute at George Washington University.

Stanco spoke today at a Washington conference co-sponsored by the institute.

Under O-STEP, vendors would put their source code in escrow for open-source licensing only after purchases had reached the vendors’ own sales thresholds.

Government agencies and private-sector users would have an incentive to buy the escrowed O-STEP software, Stanco said, because each purchase would bring their applications closer to open-source status.

He said he has talked to several agencies about the concept but has not yet approached software vendors about participation in O-STEP.










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