GitHub: All open-source developers anywhere are welcome

Open-source software rules the world, and if you’re an open-source developer anywhere around the globe — even in countries not on good terms with the US — you have a home at GitHub.

At Open Source Summit Europe in France, GitHub COO Erica Brescia said: “99% of software projects are built on open source.” With 96-million open-source projects from across the world living on the service, GitHub should know.

 Brescia added:

“In these increasingly difficult geopolitical times. . . [many] companies have decided to geo-block access to their products for Iran, Syria, and Crimea, but GitHub has taken a different approach.  We have left all of our open-source repositories available to developers in those countries.”

That said, GitHub is still blocking access to private repositories for developers in countries under US trade sanctions. This includes Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria.  

But GitHub doesn’t like it. Tyler Fuller, GitHub’s general counsel, explained:

“Sanctions are complex and were originally designed to regulate trade in more traditional goods and services, especially financial products. … We’re dedicated to both allowing as many developers around the world as possible to participate in the open-source community and to following the law.”

 Brescia continued: 

“We’re working with policymakers to expand access to GitHub to developers in those places. We believe that access to GitHub and the global open-source community is not only important for continued software development but also the free flow of information with developers around the world.” 

Why? Because open-source software development is far from being a US-centric phenomenon. 

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