[Seth-Trips] My SVLUG speech will be at Cisco Building 9

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Fri Feb 21 10:13:29 PST 2003

(I wrote most of what's below.)


   March 5, 2003 Cisco Building 9  [7:00p]
   Seth Schoen: EFF
   Topic: The Empire Strikes Back: Constraining Free Software Development

   The astonishing success of free software systems in changing the face
   of the computer world -- in under twenty years -- has led many free
   and open source software advocates to see our movement as an
   unstoppable force. Created around the same time as the Macintosh, the
   GNU system has been said to have a comparable market share, even
   though it was largely created by volunteers. Apache has not just a
   plurality but even a majority of the web server market, and Linux
   adoption continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

   These successes in market share, corresponding successes in mind
   share, and a robust, growing, and increasingly sophisticated developer
   community can make the free software world look like a force of
   nature. Some unwary advocates now see the triumph of free software as
   a foregone conclusion, or an inevitability.

   "Historical inevitability" is no more reasonable in engineering than
   it has been in other contexts. Free software has been viewed from the
   outside as an anomaly (or, sometimes, as a threat). It is increasingly
   the focal point of political struggles, and it is too early to say
   what the outcome of those struggles will be. I will review the story
   of the DVD Wars, the broader debates over copyright policy, current
   regulatory initiatives. I will also discuss new technologies such as
   software-defined radio and trusted computing, and emphasize that free
   software's future is far from assured.

   MORE ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Seth Schoen is one of the lead developers of
   the LNX-BBC rescue system (formerly the Linuxcare Bootable Business
   Card). He worked as a Senior Linux Consultant at Linuxcare for two
   years; he has also been an intern at Toronto Dominion Bank and at the
   Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His long-time interest in civil
   liberties led him to his current position as Staff Technologist at the
   Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization based in San
   Francisco. He has been active in the Bay Area free software community
   since he moved to the Bay Area in 1997 from Massachusetts.

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | Reading is a right, not a feature!
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/   |                 -- Kathryn Myronuk
     http://vitanuova.loyalty.org/     |

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