REMINDER: SVLUG Wed Mar 5: Seth Schoen: The Empire Strikes Back
stevegt at svlug.org
stevegt at svlug.org
Tue Mar 4 22:29:38 PST 2003
We're pleased to announce the next meeting of the Silicon Valley Linux
The Empire Strikes Back: Constraining Free Software Development
Wednesday, 5 March, 7pm-9pm or so.
Seth Schoen, Electronic Frontier Foundation
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.
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.
Cisco Building 9. The land of NUMBERS. The VINEYARDS conference
center. The side we are on is the Silver Oak/Jordan conference rooms,
where a large Cisco fountain is usually not turned on. Directions on
how to get there are listed at:
We've tried our very best for these directions to be accurate. If you
have any improvements to make, please let our Web Team know!
web-team at svlug.org
It's best if you arrive close to on time, as otherwise there may not
be someone posted at the door to let you in. After the speakers end
their presentation there is usually a Q&A session, time for job
seekers and employers to meet, and often a few door prizes. When the
meeting is over people are encouraged to chat a bit, but also to exit
the building so Cisco can lock up. Don't worry, a lot of us go to
dinner afterward so there's plenty of time to chat outdoors or
We look forward to seeing you there!
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