Linux.conf.au 2017 – Thursday – Session 3

Open Source Accelerating Innovation – Allison Randal

  • Story of Stallman and the printer
  • Don’t talk about the story of the context
    • Stallman was living in a free software domain, propriety software was creeping in
    • Software only became subject to copyright in early 80s
  • First age of software – 1940s – 1960s
    • Software was low value
    • Software was all free and open, given away
  • Precursor – The 1970s
  • Middle Age of Software – 1980s
    • Start of Windows, Mac, Oracle and other big software companies
    • Also start of GNU and BSD
    • Who Leads?
      • Propritory software was seen as the innovator and always would be.
      • Free Software was seen to be always chasing after windows
  • The 2000s
    • Free Software caught up with Propritory
    • Used by big companies
    • “Open Source” name adopted
    • dot-com bubble had burst
    • Web 2.0
    • Economic necessity, everyone else getting it for free
    • Collaborative Process – no silver bullet but a better chance
    • Innovations lead by open source
  • Software Freedoms
    • About Control over our material enviroment
    • If you don’t other freedoms then you don’t have a free society
  • Modern Age of Software
    • Accelerating
    • Cops in 2010 42% used OS software,  In 2015 78% using
    • Using Open Source is now just table stakes
    • Competitive edge for companies is participating is OS
    • Most participation pushes innovation even faster
  • Now What?
    • The New innovative companies
      • Amazing experiences
      • Augment Workers
      • Deliver cool stuff to customers
      • Use Network effects, Brand names
    • Businesses making contribution to society
    • Need to look at software that just doesn’t cover commercial use cases.
  • Next Phase
    • Diversity
    • Myopic monocultures – risk cause they miss the dangers
    • empowered to change the rule for the better

Surviving the Next 30 Years of Free Software – Karen M. Sandler

  • We’re not getting any younger
  • Software Relicensing
    • Need to get approval of authors to re-license
    • Has had to contact surviving spouse and get them to agree to re-license the code
    • One survivor wanted payment. Didn’t understand that code would be written out of the project.
  • There are surely other issues that that we have no considered
  • Copyright Assignment is a way around it
    • But not everybody likes that.
  • Bequeathment doesn’t work
    • In some jurisdictions copyrights have to assessed for their value before being transferred. Taxes could be owed
  • Who is your next of Kin?
    • They might share your OS values or even think of them
  • Need perpetual care of copyrights
    • Debian Copyright Aggregation Projects
  • A Trust
    • Assign copyrights today, will give you back the rights you want but these expire on your death
    • Would be a registry for free software
    • Companies could participate to
  • Recognize the opportunity with age
    • A lot of people with a lot of spare time