Software freedom through collective action
For even the most tech-savvy, achieving software freedom today is no easy task. And so much of our free software serves primarily as upstream foundations for proprietary end-user software companies with huge teams funded by SaaSS paywalls and third-party ads.
The trickle-down model of software freedom does not work. End-users being able to contribute patches helps but is not enough. What can we do? To see widespread freedom, we must center end-user voices and fund end-user focused free software well enough to out-compete proprietary options.
This talk will not focus on the specific solutions we’re working on at Snowdrift.coop. Instead, I will describe the economic and political reasons why the free software movement needs stronger end-user orientation and why it’s so hard to build the necessary solidarity. The impact will be successful whether people want to join our efforts or figure out how to apply this orientation elsewhere in the movement.
Aaron Wolf, Snowdrift.coop
Aaron teaches private music lessons (in Oregon City and Portland prior to covid, now online via Jitsi Meet) and is otherwise an activist and advocate for Free Culture and Free Software.
He is co-founder of the in-progress fundraising platform Snowdrift.coop, which aims to support widespread community patronage of freely-licensed creative works.