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Portland Linux/Unix Group: The Future of Copyleft

PSU Maseeh Engineering Building
1930 SW 4th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201, US (map)

On the lower level, follow the signs.



Who: Bradley M. Kuhn
What: Considering the Future of Copyleft: How Will The Next Generation Perceive GPL?
Where: PSU, 1930 SW 4th Ave. Room FAB 86-01 (Lower Level)
When: Thursday, March 5th, 2015 at 7pm
Why: The pursuit of technology freedom
Stream: http://pdxlinux.org/live/

Copyleft licenses, particularly the GPL and LGPL, are widely used throughout the Free Software community. However, recent for-profit corporate interest in Free Software development has led to a renewed preference toward non-copyleft licensing by for-profit entities. Meanwhile, many for-profit entities that do use copyleft for their own software now do so in a manner that most copyleft aficionados find, at best, distasteful and at worst, abusive.

A long-standing truce exists in our community between fans of non-copyleft licensing and copyleft. No one in the copyleft communities disputes that non-copylefted Free Software is an important part of our community. However, copyleft faces new challenges that make past debates about the appropriateness of copyleft seem quite minor by comparison.

This talk will discuss all aspects of the complicated situation facing copyleft, including younger developers apparent preference for non-copyleft licensing (as expressed, in part, in the "post-open source" debates), the widespread and common failures for companies to comply with GPL's relatively easy requirements, and how licensing choices are today, unlike in the past, rarely in the hands of individual developers, but instead their corporate employers.

Bradley M. Kuhn is the President and Distinguished Technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy (sfconservancy.org) and on the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Kuhn began his work in the software freedom movement as a volunteer in 1992, when he became an early adopter of the GNU/Linux operating system, and began contributing to various FLOSS projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, and taught AP Computer Science at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. Kuhn's non-profit career began in 2000, when he was hired by the FSF. As FSF's Executive Director from 2001–2005, Kuhn led FSF's GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL. From 2005-2010, Kuhn worked as the Policy Analyst and Technology Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Kuhn was the primary volunteer for Conservancy from 2006–2010, and has been a full-time staffer since early 2011. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. Kuhn's Master's thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of FLOSS programming languages. Kuhn received the O'Reilly Open Source Award in 2012, in recognition for his lifelong policy work on copyleft licensing.

Many will head to the Lucky Lab at 1945 NW Quimby St. after the meeting.

Rideshares Available

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