It will be referred to as the state software repository, its very creation is an experiment. It will start on November 1, 2022 and run until April 30, 2024. It will be managed by: the Ministry of Digital Development, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rosreestr, the Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT). Anyone who has left an application can become a participant, their selection will go until May 1, 2023.
The experiment is carried out in order to create conditions for the use of open source software by government agencies, as well as to form a community of Open Source developers.
It is assumed that the repository will include exclusively open source software for multiple use in different projects, including those created on budgetary funds.
An experiment to create a state software repository (similar to GitHub) will begin on November 1
The experiment to create a state software repository (the domestic analogue of GitHub) will begin on November 1 and will last until April 30, 2024.According to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of October 10, 2022 No. 1804 “On conducting an experiment on granting the right to use programs for electronic computers, algorithms, databases and documentation for them, including the exclusive right to which belongs to the Russian Federation, under the terms of an open license and the creation conditions for the use of open source software”, provides:
- creation of a national open source software repository;
- placement in it of software created, including for budgetary funds, for reuse in other projects;
- formation of a regulatory framework for the publication of open source software.
State Open License ” version 1.1. The rights to the text of the license belong to the Ministry of Digital Development (digital.gov.ru), it operates within the framework of the legislation of the Russian Federation.The participants in the experiment to create a state software repository are the Ministry of Digital Development, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rosreestr, the Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT, on a voluntary basis), as well as other government agencies, state organizations, legal entities and individuals who have submitted applications for participation in the experiment. RFRIT is recommended to start selecting applications before May 1, 2023. The Ministry of Digital Development will determine the selection methodology and the final list of participants in the experiment.As noted in the regulation on the experiment, the concept of “open software” hides software distributed under the terms of an open license. While an open license must satisfy a number of requirements, for example, “should not impose any restrictions on use (including distribution and sale of a copy)”, “should be royalty-free.” In addition, the source code for the software must be available, reworkable, and the license “must not contain terms restricting the use of the software by any person or group of persons.”It is noted that the experiment should create conditions for the use of open software by federal executive bodies, state non-budgetary funds, executive bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and local governments. It should also help form a community of developers of Open Source solutions and identify additional security requirements for published and distributed open source software.Based on the results of the experiment, it is planned to prepare proposals for regulatory regulation and methodological support for the publication of Open Source solutions.RFRIT must also ensure the creation of a national repository of such software and the selection procedure and requirements for the operator of this repository, a Russian NPO. It is indicated that its creation will be ensured without attracting funds from the federal budget. Technically, this could be an NGO based on the Russian Open Source Foundation .“It is important for us to support the open source software development community and create an environment for them to work together, free from sanctions risks. Thanks to the form of an open license published today, software created, including for budgetary funds, can be used to implement new projects,” explained Maxim Parshin, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Digital Development.“The experiment that has been decided to be carried out is extremely important. Its success will make it possible to organize the publication under free licenses of a large part of the software developed for budget money – unless it is classified. This is not only an opportunity to avoid duplication of work, but also the introduction of products into civil circulation, and a very effective anti-corruption measure,” commented Alexei Smirnov, General Director of Basalt SPO.“We have been working on creating a Russian ecosystem for the development and implementation of open source software for a long time. This decision is an important and relevant step in the development of our digital sovereignty. With proper management, we will receive a good additional impetus for the development of the domestic IT industry and accelerate the creation and development of the necessary software solutions,” said Ilya Massukh, director of the Competence Center for Import Substitution in the ICT Sphere.On August 9, 2022, the media reported that the Ministry of Digital Transformation had postponed for an indefinite period an experiment on creating a state software repository. The reason for postponing this project is that it has not passed all the stages of regulatory support between government agencies, which only continue to discuss the necessary procedures for its creation.“At the moment, the interdepartmental coordination of the draft government decree on the creation of the repository is being completed,” a representative of the Ministry of Digital Development told the media at the time. There was no understanding in the department when the project could be launched.Industry experts explained that serious interdepartmental approvals were required to launch the project, since permission to publish the results of government orders under a free license even on a Russian site with one platform operator should be discussed within the framework of current legislation and should not violate the licenses and rights of developers.On April 30, the Ministry of Digital Development promisedto launch the Russian analogue of GitHub before the end of the year. State-owned companies and large domestic IT companies will participate in this project. For example, it was supposed to publish software under an open license, owned by the state.In early February, the media reported that the Ministry of Digital Transformation would begin an experiment in May this year to create a Russian analogue of GitHub. There should have been presented software products under an open license, created with budgetary funds, for example, source codes and programs that were developed for the Ministry of Digital Development, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rosreestr, the Pension Fund and other government agencies. Russian developers and companies will be able to publish their programs there on a voluntary basis.A separate operator will maintain and host on its IT infrastructure an analogue of the popular web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development GitHub. It should be determined by the Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT).The Ministry of Digital Development planned that the national repository under an open license (allows you to use the software for free, including modifying and selling it, use its source code in other products) will primarily host open e-government infrastructure software. True, with the exception of all components that provide the functions of cryptographic protection of user information.The agency expected that as the national repository was filled and in demand, regulators and supervisory organizations would determine what else needed to be uploaded there. The Ministry of Digital Development planned to develop criteria and restrictions for publishing the code of state organizations and state services there. It was assumed that all individuals and legal entities “without restrictions on national, territorial and other grounds” would have access to the national repository.The main participant and organizer of the domestic analogue of GitHub is the recently created non-profit organization Open Source. It has already included VK, T1, Rostelecom and other developers and customers of open source software solutions.It is noteworthy that in October 2021, the Ministry of Digital Transformation and ANO “Tsifrovaya ekonomika” introduced the non-profit organization Russian Open Source Foundation, which was supposed to unite the main developers of open source software in our country, including Yandex, Mail.ru Group, VTB, Postgres Pro, Arenadata and Sber.
On the basis of this NPO, the Russia Open Source Hub portal was launched . This is a communication platform and an independent community that brings together everyone involved in “open source”, the development of Russian software and the IT industry as a whole.In September 2021, the Government of the Russian Federation approved the second package of solutions for the accelerated development of the country’s IT industry and that a domestic GitHub analogue platform should appear in the country.In January 2020, the Ministry of Economy offered to create an analogue of GitHub in Russia for 2.1 billion rubles. Then the department explained that the domestic GitHub is necessary in case Russia is disconnected from GitHub and other similar repositories “due to reputational and sanctions risks.”In Russia, there has already been one attempt to create a national repository, which was undertaken by the National Fund for Algorithms and Programs in 2014 by order of the Ministry of Communications. But this project was a failure.
On April 15, 2022, GitHub began blocking accounts of Russian companies on GitHub. Among them are accounts of Sberbank, Alfa-Bank, other companies, as well as individual individual developers who are not related to any company. The platform later unblocked the developers.
April 16 GitHub explained the blocking of the accounts of the development teams of Sberbank and Alfa-Bank, including most of their open repositories, with sanctions.
On April 30, GitHub stopped selling Enterprise Server in Russia and expanded sanctions restrictions to other territories in the world.