[Seth-Trips] Seth at LUGOD, July 21, Davis

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Tue Jul 1 21:24:00 PDT 2003

Maybe I should start a mailing list called "seth-speaks".  :-)

I'm giving a talk at the Linux Users Group of Davis on Monday, July 21.


       Seth David Schoen, Staff Technologist, Electronic Frontier
       Foundation - The Empire Strikes Back: Constraining Free Software

       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

       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.

       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

       The Electronic Frontier Foundation is comprised of passionate
       people -- lawyers, volunteers, and visionaries -- working in
       the trenches, battling to protect your rights and the rights of
       web surfers everywhere. The dedicated people of EFF challenge
       legislation that threatens to put a price on what is invaluable;
       to control what must remain boundless.

This is basically the same talk I gave at SVLUG, but I think I might
preview our position on trusted computing.

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org> | Very frankly, I am opposed to people
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/   | being programmed by others.
     http://vitanuova.loyalty.org/     |     -- Fred Rogers (1928-2003),
                                       |        464 U.S. 417, 445 (1984)

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