Free Software Law and Policy

Presented by Deb Nicholson, Donna Benjamin


Call for Presentations: Free Software Law and Policy Mini-conf at LCA 2017

We’re holding a one day mini conference on Free Software Law & Policy at LCA2017 will be held in Hobart, Australia on 16 - 20 January 2017

WHY: Code is a great thing, but there are also rules. You can't get too far without at least a cursory understanding of copyright law, software patents and trademark issues. Plus, the disconnect between legislators and developers leads to policies that seem to lack a basic understanding of technology, let alone a proper respect for user autonomy and privacy. The state of international and local law presents constant challenges and occasional opportunities for free software advocates -- so let's talk about it!

WHAT: Talks that would be welcome in this room include the following...

  • Policy trends that affect user freedom or autonomy
  • Discussion of international trade agreements
  • Updates on patent law, copyright law or trademark law
  • Other types of lawsuits that affect free software either globally or locally
  • Efforts to promote government usage of free software
  • Legislation that deals with privacy, surveillance or security
  • Legal structures that facilitate the creation of free software

DEADLINE: November 23rd at midnight, GMT-5

We are also planning to curate two panels so if you have expertise to share and would like to be considered for a panel, please reach out to us. To submit a proposal, you should first create a speaker profile and then fill out our submission form. We look forward to hearing from you!

Presented by

Deb Nicholson

Deb Nicholson wants to make the world a better place with technology and social justice for all. After many years of local political organizing, she started handling outreach for the Free Software Foundation and became an enthusiastic free software activist. She likes talking to developers about software patents, to project maintainers about leadership and activists about free software. She is currently the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at GNU MediaGoblin. She lives with her husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts -- surrounded by a community of food nerds and noisy musicians.

Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin is a Project Lead at Catalys Australia. She is part of a global team of skilled open source technologists, who specialise in developing, designing and supporting enterprise grade systems using open source technologies.

Donna is a passionate advocate of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) solutions for small business and education. In particular, the use of web applications on the Drupal platform, open source graphics tools such as Inkscape and GIMP, and the Moodle and Sugar learning platforms. Donna has taken on a range of leadership roles in the Open Source community, sitting on boards and committees and organising events. She is currently a Director of the Drupal Association and the Open Australia Foundation.

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