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Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

[LCA] The final linux.conf.au keynote was delivered by FSF attorney Eben Moglen. It was, it must be said, one of the best talks your editor has seen in some time. Mr. Moglen can take an absolutely uncompromising approach to software freedom just as well as, say, Richard Stallman, but he can deliver the message in a way that is vital and effective for a far wider audience. While one would not want to distract him from his important legal work, it would be a good thing if Eben Moglen spoke a little more often.

The following is a poor attempt to summarize the talk.

[Eben Moglen] The "legal state of the free world" is strong. In particular, attacks on the General Public License have abated. One year ago, the SCO group was claiming that the GPL was invalid and in violation of the U.S. constitution. That kind of talk is not happening any more. SCO "has not completely flatlined," but it is almost there.

What were the legal consequences of the SCO attack? Certainly the invalidation of the GPL was not one of them. There were two outcomes, one positive, and one less so.

On the positive side, the industry (as composed of large vendors who make money from free software) has decided that the community needs better lawyers. In particular, the industry has concluded that financing good legal advice for the community early in the game, before problems develop, is a good investment. The result was the creation of the Software Freedom Law Center, with almost $5 million in funding. That figure can be expected to triple in the near future. There should be, soon, abundant legal help available for nonprofit organizations and developers working in the free software area.

In this sense, the dotcom bust was a fortuitous event as well. As technology jobs went away, numerous technical people found their way into law school. Many of them were not too happy about it, but these were the students Eben had been waiting for the last fifteen years. Soon, there will be a new crop of lawyers who understand technology and who can read code - and they will be funded to work for the community. This is a very good outcome, and we owe thanks to Darl McBride for helping to bring it about.

The other outcome from the SCO attack is the general realization, in the boardrooms of companies threatened by free software, that copyright attacks are of limited value. SCO and its backers brought a heavily funded attack against a project set up fifteen years ago by a student in Helsinki who didn't think he had any need for lawyers - and that project sustained the attack easily. Copyright does not appear, any more, to be a legal tool which can be used to impede the spread of free software.

Patent attacks are a different matter, and "we are going to face serious challenges" in that area. There will probably not be much in the way of patent infringement suits against individual developers; those developers simply do not have the deep pockets which might attract such a suit. Instead, the attacks will come in the form of threats to users.

This is happening now: corporate officers will get a visit from "the monopoly" or others and be told about the sort of trouble waiting for it as a result of its use of patent-infringing free software. That trouble can be avoided by quietly paying royalties to the patent holder. This is happening "more than we would believe" currently - companies are paying royalties for their use of free software. It remains quiet because it is in nobody's interest to make this sort of shakedown public. The victims will not come forward; they will not even tell their suppliers.

Defending against patents is a complicated task. An important part is destroying patents - getting the (U.S, mainly) patent office to reevaluate and (hopefully) invalidate a threatening patent. This is what was done with Microsoft's FAT patent, for example. When it works, it is by far the most cost-effective way of dealing with patent problems; it is far cheaper than trying to litigate a patent case later on.

This process is tricky. Typically, a group wishing to invalidate a patent gets a single shot, in the form of its initial request to the patent office. After that, the process becomes confidential, and involves communications with the patent holder. So that first shot has to be a very good one. They are getting better at it.

Killing patents makes people in the industry nervous - they have their arsenal of patents too, after all. There is, however, an "agonizing [Eben Moglen] reappraisal" of the patent system going on within the industry. Some companies in the technology industry are starting to get a sense that the patent system does not work in their favor. It will be interesting to see what happens within IBM, in particular. In general, patent reform is going to be a big issue over the next couple of years. Some parts of industry will favor reform, others (such as the pharmaceutical industry) are happy with the system as it stands now. There will be groups trying to redirect the reform process to favor their own interests, and many "false friends" appearing out of the woodwork. There will be opportunities for serious reform, but the community will have to step carefully.

Meanwhile, Samba 4, in particular, may not be safe; there are likely to be patents out there. "Expect trouble."

[In a separate session, Eben encouraged free software developers to record their novel inventions and to obtain patents on the best of them. Free legal help can be made available to obtain patents on the best ideas. Until the rules of the game can be changed, we must play the game, and having the right patents available may make all the difference in defending against an attack.]

Back to the GPL: the work done by Harald Welte getting the German courts to recognize and enforce the GPL has been a very good thing. Eben, however, is also pleased by the fact that, over the last decade or so, he has not had to take the GPL to court. Threats to enforce the GPL are entirely credible - there are few volunteers to be the first defendant in a GPL infringement suit in the U.S. It also helps that the Free Software Foundation, in enforcing the GPL, seeks neither money nor publicity. Instead, what they want is compliance with the license. "I get compliance every single time."

Enforcement against embedded manufacturers ("appliances") has been problematic in the past. These manufacturers have less motivation to comply with the GPL, and the costs of compliance (especially after a product has been released) are higher. The working strategy in this case recognizes that the company actually guilty of the infringement (usually a relatively anonymous manufacturer in the far east) is highly receptive to pressure from its real customers: the companies who put their nameplates on the hardware and sell it to the end users. If you go to a company with a big brand and get that company to pressure the initial supplier, that supplier will listen.

Meanwhile, the appliance manufacturers have started to figure out that posting their source is not just something they have to do to comply with the GPL - it can be good business in its own right. When the source is out there, their customers will do some of their quality assurance and product improvement work for them - and remain happier customers.

In summary, the problems with GPL compliance by appliance manufacturers will go away in the near future.

There is not much to be said, at this point, about what will be in version 3 of the GPL. Much, however, can be said about the process. The GPL currently serves four different, and sometimes conflicting goals. Any attempt to update the GPL must preserve its ability to serve all of those goals. The components of the GPL are:

  • A worldwide copyright license. Worldwide licenses are exceedingly rare; they are typically tuned to each legal system in which they operate. The GPL cannot be issued in various national versions, however; it must work everywhere.

  • A code of industry conduct - how players in the free software world will interact with each other. Any new code of conduct must be negotiated with the industry; it cannot just be imposed by fiat.

  • The GPL is a political document; it forms, in a sense, the constitution of the free software movement.

  • It is the codification of the thought of Richard Stallman, and must continue to adhere to his beliefs.

Updating the GPL will be a long process. Eben will be putting together an international gathering of copyright lawyers to help with the crafting of the copyright license portion of the GPL. A separate gathering of industry representatives will be needed to hammer out the necessary compromises on the code of conduct; this is a part of the process which may not sit well with Richard Stallman, but it must happen anyway. The constitutional part of the GPL, instead, should see minimal changes - there has been no fundamental change in the wider world to motivate the creation of a new constitution. On the last point, there will be no revision of the GPL which does not meet with the approval of Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation.

When a new license nears readiness, it will be posted with a long explanation of why each decision was made. Then will come the comment period, as the FSF tries to build a consensus around the new license. The revision of the GPL is, perhaps, the most difficult task Eben has ever taken on, and he is not sure that he is up to it. The job must be done, however.

As for when: "soon." He did not want to undertake revisions of the GPL while it was under attack - updating the GPL should not be seen as a defensive maneuver. Now, however, the GPL is not under attack, and "the monopoly" is distracted for the next couple of years trying to get its next big software release out. This is the time to get the work done, so something is going to happen.

In response to a question about software-controlled radios: that is a global problem, not just limited to the United States. Japan, it seems, is the worst jurisdiction in this regard; there have been threats to arrest foreign software radio developers should they set foot there. Fixing the software radio problem is a key part of ensuring freedom of communication in the future, and it is currently Eben's most pressing problem. There has been little progress so far, however, and new strategies will be required.

In general, freedom is under threat worldwide. The events since 9/11, in particular, have accelerated trends toward a repressive, surveillance-oriented world. If we want to ensure our political freedoms in this environment, we must work for technological freedom. Without the ability to control our own systems, to communicate freely in privacy, and to interact with others, we will not have the wider freedoms we hope for. The free software movement is the heir to the free-speech movements which started in Europe centuries ago; we are at the forefront of what has been a very long and difficult fight for freedom. The difference is that "this time we win."

Standing ovations for speakers at Linux conferences are a rare thing; Eben Moglen received two of them.


(Log in to post comments)

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 17:40 UTC (Mon) by thomask (guest, #17985) [Link]

I can see why Moglen's worried about the community consultation. It looks as if three parties will be involved in reviewing GPL v3: the corporations, the community and RMS. Anyone else feel worried that it could get nasty? RMS is well-known for being uncompromising in his statements of belief, the community is bound to be vocal, and the corporations might want changes to the GPL that suit them but not the community or RMS. I look forward to the posting of GPL v3 with much anticipation, much interest, and perhaps a little misgiving...

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 21:36 UTC (Mon) by brouhaha (subscriber, #1698) [Link]

Anyone else feel worried that it could get nasty?
I don't expect it to. The reason corporations and the community have embraced the GPL is that the vision behind it actually serves their needs. Since there hasn't been a big change in the vision, I expect there to only be a little controversy over hammering out the fine details.

Certainly anyone unhappy with GPLv3 can continue using GPLv2. Although it is somewhat customary to do so, the copyright holder does not have to include the "or any later version" clause.

Personally, I don't like the idea of providing software under a license that could be changed at any time by another party. While I do not believe that Richard Stallman or Eben Moglen would put any terms in a future version of the GPL that I would dislike, there's the remote chance that they could both get run over by a bus or something, and someone else take over the FSF and change its direction. I don't expect that to happen, and certainly very much hope that it will not, but because of that possibility my own GPL'd software has been released with an explicit statement that it is covered by the GPLv2 only, and not any later version. If the GPLv3 meets with my approval (and I fully expect that it will), I will release future versions under GPLv3.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 23:27 UTC (Mon) by job (guest, #670) [Link]

There is an "or" in "or any later version". That means it is up to the end user if they wish to license the software under GPL v2 or v3 (or v4, and so on). So your users are safe to ignore any future evil Stallmans changes if they wish. As if that wasn't enough, as the author you also get to relicense future versions under any license you wish (even if you've signed copyright waivers to the FSF). As I understand the license, even the worst case won't be a problem.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 23:52 UTC (Mon) by brouhaha (subscriber, #1698) [Link]

I'm not worried about the GPL becoming more restrictive; as you've pointed out, the "or" clause would allow end users to stick to the older license. But if the GPL became less restrictive, the "or" clause could be a problem.

For instance, if I used the "or" clause, and the FSF released GPLv37 which said that the software could be used in military robots with mind control beam projectors without needing the source code to be released, I'd be SOL; there'd be no way for me to retract that permission.

Thus I don't use the "or" clause. I don't expect that the FSF will do such a thing, but by not using the "or" clause I can completely avoid the problem. When it turns out that I actually am happy with GPLv3, v4, etc, I can easily enough change over to using them.

Eric

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted May 5, 2005 21:20 UTC (Thu) by zotz (guest, #26117) [Link]

"When it turns out that I actually am happy with GPLv3, v4, etc, I can easily enough change over to using them."

Assuming that you are still alive. There are tradeoffs whichever way you choose to go on this issue. If you care about the future situation after you are gone that is.

all the best,

drew

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 26, 2005 18:15 UTC (Tue) by Fats (subscriber, #14882) [Link]

I don't expect that to happen, and certainly very much hope that it will not, but because of that possibility my own GPL'd software has been released with an explicit statement that it is covered by the GPLv2 only, and not any later version. If the GPLv3 meets with my approval (and I fully expect that it will), I will release future versions under GPLv3.
The problem is that if your code contains code copyright by other people you need approval of them for a license change, even for a change from GPLv2 only to GPLv2 or GPLv3.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 17:45 UTC (Mon) by vegge (subscriber, #6926) [Link]

> In response to a question about software-controlled radios: that is a global problem,
> not just limited to the U.S. Japan, it seems, is the worst jurisdiction in this regard;
> there have been threats to arrest foreign software radio developers should they set foot there.

Does anyone know the particular legal issue in Japan?

Karl

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 25, 2005 17:51 UTC (Mon) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

It's the same issue which comes up everywhere else: whichever regulatory agency is charged with managing the radio spectrum worries that an uncontrolled radio will be used to create interference in the wrong places.

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 25, 2005 21:05 UTC (Mon) by ncm (subscriber, #165) [Link]

Are we talking about radio receivers, and receiving signals they think we ought not to be equipped to hear? Or are they just worried about transmitters?

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 25, 2005 21:47 UTC (Mon) by brouhaha (subscriber, #1698) [Link]

I don't know about Japan, but in the US, the rule established by the FCC is that it must not be easy for the end-user of a device to modify it to operate on frequencies or at power levels that are unauthorized. And US law requires that no products be sold that can intercept cellular phone conversations, except to law enforcement.

Atheros claims that the former problem is why they will not release a fully open-source driver for their 802.11g chipset; most of the driver is open-source (GPL'd, so it also qualifies as Free Software), but there is a "HAL" portion that is only supplied as a binary under a non-free license.

The actual FCC ruling is not that clear; many people believe Atheros is overreacting, since their chips are not a true SDR (Software-Defined Radio). Still, it is the job of corporate attorneys to minimize the corporation's exposure to legal liability, and to some extent not providing source code for the HAL does that.

If you're interested, you can read the actual FCC Report and Order (PDF format, 24 pages, ET Docket No. 00-47, released September 14, 2001).

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 25, 2005 22:53 UTC (Mon) by Ross (guest, #4065) [Link]

And don't forget that all equipment must obey the broadcast flag starting
this summer. Not only that, but it must prevent users from bypassing it
with safeguards which are non-trivial to bypass. That's probably just not
possible in a tool which is distributed as source code. I don't know if
Japan has the equivalent of the broadcast flag but it is likely since it was
required to be legislated in international treaties.

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 26, 2005 0:20 UTC (Tue) by dberkholz (guest, #23346) [Link]

It could be. If you need to crack a generated 2048-bit key or something crazy like that.

The issue in Japan

Posted Apr 26, 2005 1:06 UTC (Tue) by Ross (guest, #4065) [Link]

I don't see how. Just modify the code to skip the authentication routine.
It's the same problem as any client-side authentication. It doesn't actually
do anything. It's just a speedbump. It would be a bigger speedbump if it
was binary-only, but still not real security.

Broadcast Flag

Posted Apr 26, 2005 5:38 UTC (Tue) by Ross (guest, #4065) [Link]

Sorry to reply to myself, but here's an interesting interview with the
founder of pcHDTV (the only Linux-only HDTV capture card) which discusses a
few of the requirements of the broadcast flag:

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2005/04/20/pctv.html

As you can see there is no way a software implementation, especially an
open source one, could meet the requirements.

Broadcast flag not /quite/ activated ... yet

Posted Apr 26, 2005 17:58 UTC (Tue) by Max.Hyre (guest, #1054) [Link]

Broadcast flag not /quite/ activated, yet

The broadcast flag is being challenged in court, mostly under the belief that the FCC has no damn' business regulating hardware. Their charter is to regulate use of the airwaves, and how one accesses such use is beyond their pale.

The suit is being driven (if I have it right) by Public Knowledge, a ``Washington DC based advocacy group working to defend your rights in the emerging digital culture''. Their report, in brief, is that the matter is currently in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the court requested a second round of argument (unusual, I believe). The additional briefs were presented early this month, and everyone's holding their breath.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 19:49 UTC (Mon) by tcabot (subscriber, #6656) [Link]

While one would not want to distract him from his important legal work, it would be a good thing if Eben Moglen spoke a little more often.
I'd second that. Eben Moglen's talk has been one of the highlights of the FSF Associates meeting every year that he's been there. He's a fantastic speaker.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 19:58 UTC (Mon) by firasha (subscriber, #4230) [Link]

Anyone know if there's a transcript/audio/video recording that the LCA staff (or Prof. Moglen) would be willing to make available? I didn't see any obvious links from a quick perusal of the LCA site, but perhaps I missed it...

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 23:27 UTC (Mon) by hiddenone (guest, #4642) [Link]

We have fluendo streams stored to disk, we will be placing them online for download in the next few weeks. Also the speex streams of all talks we have good audio of will be on the cd we send out to all delegates and will also be online for download.

(steven.hanley@lca2005.linux.org.au)

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 25, 2005 23:43 UTC (Mon) by firasha (subscriber, #4230) [Link]

Wonderful, thanks so much!

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 26, 2005 11:55 UTC (Tue) by arafel (guest, #18557) [Link]

I have nothing particularly useful to add; I just wanted to say thanks. The fact that LCA makes the presentations available - audio and otherwise - is excellent, and much appreciated by those of us who weren't there. :-)

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted May 15, 2005 22:42 UTC (Sun) by meowsqueak (guest, #29958) [Link]

This is excellent news. Any revised estimates on when this will be available? I'm not impatient, really :)

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Sep 15, 2005 9:28 UTC (Thu) by bugmenot (guest, #32475) [Link]

Those streams (both video and audio) turns out to be completely corrupt and unusable.

Did anyone *else* record or take more verbatim notes?

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Jan 20, 2015 17:27 UTC (Tue) by mbanck (subscriber, #9035) [Link]

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 25, 2005 21:45 UTC (Mon) by xav (subscriber, #18536) [Link]

Could someone sched some light on what's flawed in the current incarnation of the GPL, and why do we (the people ;) need a new version ? I sure like the GPL v2, and would need a really good reason to switch to v3.

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 25, 2005 21:53 UTC (Mon) by brouhaha (subscriber, #1698) [Link]

One reason that's been bandied about is that it is increasingly common for software to be used as a web-based service, where instead of distributing the software, you set up a web site where people submit input to the software and get the output. Some such services are paid; some are at no charge. The issue is that many developers of GPL'd software don't want other people to take their software, make some enhancements to it, offer it only as a service, and not distribute the modified source code. With GPLv2, the requirement to redistribute the source code of a modified version is only triggered if you distribute the object code of that version. Essentially this allows the provider of such a service to make a proprietary non-free (as in speech) version of the software.

I'm sure there are other issues that the GPLv3 is intended to address as well; I think at least some of them have been discussed in prior articles here on LWN. The web service issue may not even be the most important of them, but it's the one I happen to remember.

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 26, 2005 6:56 UTC (Tue) by njhurst (guest, #6022) [Link]

You mean like google?

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 26, 2005 11:25 UTC (Tue) by copsewood (subscriber, #199) [Link]

Very good example.

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 27, 2005 1:55 UTC (Wed) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

Not to mention LWN :-)

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 27, 2005 9:34 UTC (Wed) by jonth (subscriber, #4008) [Link]

Is that true? Jonathan, is there a reason why the source for this site is not released under the GPL?

(Possibly no-one's ever asked for it!)

Releasing the code

Posted Apr 27, 2005 13:14 UTC (Wed) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

The site source has not been released for the simple reason that we have not had the time to do it. One of the things we'd have to do is examine the various external components we use (there's a few of them) and figure out which licence is compatible with them all; until then, I don't know which license we would use. We also need to do a security pass, set up distribution, mailing lists, etc. It remains on the list, with a reasonably high priority even.

But the list is full of high-priority tasks, starting with "get LWN out every week."

Releasing the code

Posted Apr 29, 2005 0:57 UTC (Fri) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

> But the list is full of high-priority tasks, starting with
> "get LWN out every week."

Which is as it should be, and worth every penny it is too.

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 28, 2005 3:53 UTC (Thu) by csamuel (✭ supporter ✭, #2624) [Link]

I don't believe so, I think he meant like SOAP web services where you are
effectively coding against an API, even though it's an RPC call.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Anyway, it was a very excellent presentation by Eben, I count myself very
lucky to have been there to hear it.

Chris

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 25, 2005 22:02 UTC (Mon) by stevenj (guest, #421) [Link]

See these previous interviews with Eben Moglen: 2 Feb 2005 and 22 Nov 2004.

Short summary: the GPL v3 is expected to be very similar to v2, but to have some tweaks to make it more international and translatable, will have more explicit defenses against patent litigation, will describe how the license interacts with "trusted computing", and will possibly include as an option some provision for software that is used over a network (perhaps similar to the Affero General Public License, which was written in consultation with the FSF).

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 26, 2005 11:45 UTC (Tue) by gravious (guest, #7662) [Link]

I, for one, welcome our FSF overlords.

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 26, 2005 2:21 UTC (Tue) by xtifr (subscriber, #143) [Link]

Another point that was hinted at but not directly addressed in the previous responses: the new Apache license (and some similar licenses) have some restrictions on patent abuse. These restrictions are not compatible with the GPL v2, but are considered by the FSF (and many others) to be perfectly reasonable and even desirable otherwise. So, basically, the plan at this point is to modify the GPL to be fully compatible with the Apache license, rather than try to force the Apache Foundation to remove desirable features from their license. (The current situation, where the Apache license and the GPL are incompatible is livable, but not ideal.)

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 26, 2005 14:01 UTC (Tue) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

Now *THAT* has to be a first. The GPL chaging to accomodate *OTHER* licenses.

Will wonders never cease? ;-)

Why is the GPL v3 so necessary ?

Posted Apr 27, 2005 3:31 UTC (Wed) by jamesh (guest, #1159) [Link]

It isn't the first time they've made changes when the GPL's terms had unforseen/undesirable consequences. For example, the GPL v1 meant that you couldn't put a copy of a GPL program (with source) and a proprietary program onto a single CD and distribute it. The GPL was changed to allow "mere aggregation" in version 2 to allow it.

If the FSF thinks that some form of patent defense is a good thing in a license and the GPL causes problems due to its incompatibility with such terms, why do you think they wouldn't change?

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 26, 2005 14:03 UTC (Tue) by seanodes (guest, #29104) [Link]

I've also seen Eben Moglen a couple of years ago in France, at the Libre Software Meeting. He was presenting his famous essay « Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright ». His talk was very very interesting, very nice to listen to, very understandable for foreigners (I'm French).

As Jonathan says in the article, I really think Eben should talk more often that he does now. In a sense, he is a better speaker than RMS. This is not very surprising, since RMS is a programmer, and Eben is a lawyer !

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 26, 2005 18:04 UTC (Tue) by kreutz (guest, #4709) [Link]

Moglen spoke at Harvard last year (2-2-04), and gave a fantastic talk. The video (RealPlayer format, I believe) and Speex audio are archived at http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/p.cgi/speakers.html. He is a brilliant speaker, and listening to him is a real treat.

Tom Kreutz

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Sep 15, 2005 9:31 UTC (Thu) by bugmenot (guest, #32475) [Link]

There's a more or less comprehensive list of links to talks by Eben Moglen in the Wikipedia article about him:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen>>

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 27, 2005 2:05 UTC (Wed) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

> Meanwhile, Samba 4, in particular, may not be safe;
> there are likely to be patents out there. "Expect trouble."

The Samba developers need all the support they can get in this respect.

It is not helpful for prominent members of the community to be
painting ugly pictures of lead Samba developers as playing foul.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted Apr 27, 2005 3:33 UTC (Wed) by jamesh (guest, #1159) [Link]

I didn't read that as an attack on the Samba developers. It is simply a statement that there are likely to be bogus patents in the problem space Samba solves, and someone is probably going to try and use one of them against Samba.

Samba needs support

Posted Apr 27, 2005 4:22 UTC (Wed) by xoddam (subscriber, #2322) [Link]

Sorry -- I was trying to have a dig at Linus Torvalds (lead Linux kernel
developer), who has been lambasting Andrew Tridgell (lead Samba
developer) for messing up the BitKeeper arrangement by exercising his
right to reverse-engineer wire protocols.

For some lame reason I thought my post might look better if I didn't name
the protagonists I was referring to, just as Moglen refers to 'the
monopoly' without naming a particular large proprietary software company.
Silly of me.

The point remains, that trying to interoperate with widely used software
(in whatever domain; if you're looking at distributed source code
development then BK is widely used) is a legitimate pursuit which is
threatened, if not by copyright and silly EULAs then by patents.

Free software users need free software which interoperates with
proprietary software. More to the point, we must stand behind the right
of people to do what it takes to develop such free software.

Eben Moglen's linux.conf.au keynote

Posted May 10, 2005 15:00 UTC (Tue) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

> The Samba developers need all the support they can get in this respect.

FSFE is doing it's bit, if you're looking for a target for donations: http://fsfeurope.org/projects/ms-vs-eu/ms-vs-eu.en.html

Where's the video and audio of this speech?

Posted Apr 28, 2005 15:36 UTC (Thu) by dowdle (subscriber, #659) [Link]

Someone MUST have recorded this speech? So where is it and when can I download it? I envision a bittorrent site that carries nothing but videos of speeches and talks given by luminaries in the Free Software movement.

Anyone?

Where's the video and audio of this speech?

Posted Apr 28, 2005 20:44 UTC (Thu) by DKlein (guest, #29632) [Link]

My question EXACTLY -- I subscribed to this service to get this speech, not a gloss (however careful and thoughtful). Eben is so careful about what he says, and how he says it, that any gloss is necessarily approximate. (Plus, will not contain the jokes.) There is technology in use now that can turn a legal deposition into a transcript in real time -- don't tell me there was no equivalent at THIS conference!

Where's the video and audio of this speech?

Posted Apr 28, 2005 20:58 UTC (Thu) by corbet (editor, #1) [Link]

My understanding is that all of the LCA sessions were recorded by the organizers, and they will be putting audio (and video) streams up when they are ready. At that point we can look into getting a transcript made as well.

Where's the video and audio of this speech?

Posted Sep 15, 2005 9:32 UTC (Thu) by bugmenot (guest, #32475) [Link]

Nope, those recordings were all a total loss. Our only hope is if someone privately recorded or took notes.

Where's the video and audio of this speech?

Posted May 1, 2005 7:13 UTC (Sun) by njhurst (guest, #6022) [Link]

It's probably illegal to post his talk as that would be a copyright violation. Can't have people stealing his ideas.


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