Get A Discount & Help Me Get To OSCON!

My first OSCON was in 2000 in Monterey, CA. It was the one where Sun released as open source (and pledged to hand it over to a Foundation, something they forgot later despite many reminders) and I had only been a Sun employee for a very short time. I have attended most of them since then as a speaker, and have delivered “keynotes” (OSCON has a chat-show format for plenaries so talks are short) several times as well. I’m still on the Program Committee. Continue reading

OSI License Clinic

In a new departure, the Open Source Initiative will hold a small open source license clinic oriented towards US Federal agencies. The event will be at the Library of Congress on May 9, 2013 starting at 9am.  Places are limited and you’re encouraged to register now.

Speaking At OSCON

I’ve received confirmation this week that my talk for OSCON 2013 – entitled “Can Evil Corporations Embrace Open Source?” – has been accepted. See you there!

FOSDEM Picks 2013

On ComputerWorldUK, I’ve posted my picks for FOSDEM. I didn’t mention that I’ll also be speaking (about OSI) at the end of Saturday afternoon in the Free Java DevRoom.  I’ve still a few openings for 1:1 meetings too – let me know if you want to meet.  See you there!

See You At FOSDEM?

I’ll once again be attending Europe’s most important open source developer event, FOSDEM, I’m honoured to have had two talks accepted this year. Both are on Saturday afternoon:

  • Should We Embrace App Stores? (15:00 in the Legal Issues DevRoom)
    Most open source projects have chosen to build versions of their code for a variety of platforms. This helps the advance of software freedom, since people are frequently exposed to the reality for the first time when they try open source software on a platform where it’s otherwise absent.But in the case of platforms gated by app stores, the common wisdom appears to be to disrupt access to open source software by exercising the copyright holders’ right to object to conflicts with the license they have used.
    Is this the right approach? Should we be waiving our objections to app store terms so that software freedom is promoted on them? Or is it vital to object on principle in every case?
  • A New OSI For A New Era (17:50 in the Free Java DevRoom)
    This talk will consider trends in open source governance, the work under way to refactor the Open Source Initiative for this new phase in open source, and asks how the Java community should be reacting to these changes.

I’m currently planning to arrive in Brussels Friday February 1st and depart Monday February 4th. If you would like to meet, please let me know!

South Tyrol Soon

Coming up on 16th November:  SFSCon in Bolzano, Italy. While we wait for the details, here’s a reminder of what the place is like:


Update: The conference programme is now out, and I can confirm I’ll be speaking there. I’ve been several times and it’s always a delight to visit. They have open source deep in their culture – there’s even a local wine called “Perl”…

Perl Wine

Legal Topics For Practical People

The track I’m chairing at Open World Forum in Paris next week is now public and I think we’ve got a pretty hot schedule there what with Richard Fontana and Bradley Kuhn rematched after their showdown at FOSDEM, plus the explanation of why SpagoBI switched from GPLv2 to MPLv2. Hope to see you at the event.


I’ll be talking about “What’s Driving Open Source” after the Annual Meeting for FLOSS UK in London on Thursday.

OSS 2012 Keynote

What’s driving open source in 2012? I presented a keynote address at OSS2012, the 8th International Conference on Open Source Systems this morning. My talk, entitled “What’s Driving Open Source”, tried to capture the forces that are shaping the evolution of the concept of software freedom and its pragmatic expression through open source software.

In the talk, I explained how the idea of open source partly arose from the realisation in 1998 that trying to talk ethics with corporations is largely fruitless (as Bryan Cantrill puts it, they are like lawnmowers; when they cut your hand off, it’s not because they are evil, it’s because you stuck your hand in them to stop them rather than grasping their controls). Open source was shaped by the drivers of 1998 and onwards – mainly price and concepts derived from price by both suppliers and deployers – but in the 15 years since then, the drivers have changed.

Today, it’s licensing for community strength, responding to software patents, independent foundations, cloud computing and big data that are providing the forces that are shaping open source. I’m preparing an article on this for InfoWorld, so will say (much) more later.

Call For Participation

Have you ever attended an open source conference? In my article for ComputerWorldUK today, I briefly review four good choices that you can attend over the next few months.

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