Register for SeaGL 2019
November 15th and 16th, 2019

Podcast Preview: Free as in Freedom

At SeaGL this year (starting in TWO DAYS!!) we are so excited to welcome Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler from the Software Freedom Conservancy! They’ll be recording a live audio podcast and taking a few questions from the audience. In advance of their podcast recording, they’ve answered a few questions for us to get us all EXCITED for the live recording of Free as in Freedom, which you can attend Saturday at 3:45pm in room 3183!

What can folks expect from this episode of your podcast?

Karen and I have been doing our podcast, Free as in Freedom, semi-regularly since 2010 – nearly ten years! This will be our very first live episode. We hope to interact with the crowd and get questions from everyone.

We encourage folks who haven’t heard our show before to listen to a few episodes by visiting faif.us and get a sense of our podcast. We’ll be accepting written questions ahead of the show (find me and Karen for index cards to give us questions!), as well as questions from the audience during the show.

We do the podcast because there are very few podcasts that do in-depth discussion of policy issues around software freedom. This is the primary area we work in, so we try to make a show that can get deep into issues and consider the complex topics that face Free Software today.

What do smaller conferences (like SeaGL!) offer for FLOSS communities?

We’ve made a commitment to send a large part of Conservancy’s staff (the two of us, plus Deb Nicholson) to SeaGL because even though it’s small conference, SeaGL and events like it are exactly the types of events we need more of to promote software freedom.

These events are run by the community for individuals, not by big corporate interests. That means that there is no corporate agenda: the goal is to help attendees learn more about software freedom and become a part of the community using that software. We really appreciate the efforts of all the organizers to make this conference a success.

That said, what’s your favorite mid to large size open source conference and why?

FOSDEM is the obvious answer, because it is by far the largest run FOSS conference in history. With more than 4,000 attendees each year, FOSDEM is the main event each year, and it’s amazingly run by all volunteers! So, FOSDEM is what a community conference can become as it grows. While we wouldn’t expect SeaGL and other events to grow to this amazing size – FOSDEM is really unique – but we’re really glad for any event run by volunteers rather than companies and trade associations.

What’s a FLOSS project under the Software Freedom Conservancy that deserves more attention?

Some of our most essential work is Conservancy’s GPL enforcement work – whereby we work with many projects including Linux, BusyBox, Samba, Inkscape and others – to assure compliance with the GPL family of licenses. Particularly with regard to small Linux-based devices, we see an overwhelming need for a watchdog organization that assures the software freedom guaranteed under copyleft licenses like GPL. Conservancy is one of the very few organizations that focuses on the rights of users who receive these devices. We fundamentally believe that the next generation of inventive activities with FOSS will come from people using the source code of their devices to do new and interesting things with those devices. By assuring GPL compliance, we put the tools in the hands of the next generation of hacktivists who want to build community-oriented software.


Thanks Karen and Bradley!! See you Saturday at 3:45pm in room 3183!



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