☆ Oslo Position

Stave Church DragonI’ll be speaking at GoOpen in Oslo on Tuesday (on the Grand Panel at 20:00) and Wednesday (the closing keynote). I’d love to meet with you if you’ll be in Oslo this week – find me at the event.

I was asked for a two-paragraph “position statement” so the panel moderator knew where I was coming from, so I sent this:

Open source is what the older concept of software freedom turns into when it happens on the world-wide web. The ever-increasing reach of the web has led to ever-increasing use of open source. That expansion has made it increasingly a business requirement passed to suppliers that software used in enterprises is open source in some way.  That in turn has made software vendors increasingly try their best to cheat, pretending that all it takes is an open source license to make something open source and that software freedom is irrelevant.

It doesn’t. Software freedom takes more than just a license. It takes a living community that’s open-by-rule, where every participant is free to pursue his or her own motivations for participating, doing so at his or her own cost. As the games companies play get more sophisticated, so the remedies communities create need to be more effective. Usually the best remedy is based on transparency, common sense and community empowerment. All the time open source is important, the game will be elevated, so I believe today we need benchmarks, best practices and inter-community co-operation if we’re to see software freedom build the open society I know it can.

That will be the background for my comments on the panel and for my keynote – what do you think? Comments below please – help me write my talk 😉

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