Bruce Perens is a leader in the Free Software / Open Source community. Today he is most active in evangelizing to government and industry. He has presented at UN, EU, and national government events and has met with many high-ranking politicians and two heads of state. He advises local and national governments and a number of "Fortune 100" corporations on Open Source policy.
Perens is probably best known as the creator of the Open Source Definition, which is both the manifesto of the Open Source movement in software and the specification for its licensing. Perens was the person who announced Open Source to the world, and co-founded the Open Source Initiative. He is the founder of the Linux Standard Base, the main standards project for Linux; and Software in the Public Interest.
Perens also founded No-Code International, an organization that lobbied successfully for the worldwide elimination requirements for examination in Morse code proficiency which were mandatory for licensing of ham radio operators. In that capacity, Perens helped to change a treaty of the International Telecommunications Union, and a law in all but one country that permits Amateur Radio. Russia is said to be alone in still requiring Morse code proficiency of its Radio Amateurs today.
One of Perens main areas of political and policy activity is the Individual as Innovator. This includes:
Another area of activity for Perens is Democracy in the Internet Age, lobbying for network neutrality and the delivery of balanced information to the voter. Voters will decide for whom to cast a vote based on the information they receive. Perens believes that the internet will be the main medium of democratic discourse in the future, and that control of the internet and of the devices and software used to access the internet must be broadly distributed among the public in order for these systems to be free from attempts to unduly influence the voter. Thus, Perens feels that Open Standards and the inter-operability between multiple vendors that they define are critically important to the future of democracy.
Perens invests significant work into the topics of liberty and freedom, the public welfare, and the interaction of economics with Open Source and Open Standards. Some of his research papers are available on this site.
Perens runs a small business, Perens LLC, vending strategic consulting services, software (mostly Open Source) and operating web services.
Perens is also a visiting researcher at Agder University in Norway, under a grant from the Competence Fund of Western Norway. His work there centers on European government policy regarding Open Source. He has spent a month at the university each summer for the past two years, and visits several times each year, usually for about a week each time.
In the past, Perens has been HP's Senior Global Strategist for Linux and Open Source, the founder and CEO of Linux Capital Group, a business incubator starting Open Source companies, a board member or chairman of several corporations, and senior scientist for Open Source with the Cyber Security Policy Research Institute at George Washington University.
Perens lives in Berkeley, California, with his family most of the year.