some analysis from OSCON (part 1 of 3)

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some analysis from OSCON (part 1 of 3)

kirby urner-4

Lots of talk of a "code of conduct" going in,
as I pieced it together later, with dribs and 
drabs on the organizer's list, which I've been
on.  We had some last minute plea for some
small print boilerplate, like a EULA, that no
one reads, until getting a Knock on the Door
from Microsoft...

Of relevance to education is my Hillsboro
police story again.  Here was this bunch of 
cops, in the age of Napster, being pushed
by the IP lawyers to play "the bad ass 
enforcer" in the local public schools.  They
were to come in and scare the bejeezus 
out of kids telling them about the anti-piracy
laws, possible jail sentences.

Yet here this was, land of the free home of
the brave, with parents who'd risked everything
to come here for a better life for their kids, 
and here were these cops not telling them
anything about free, legally free, and open
software, not letting them in on the "dirty
secret" (from the IP lawyers' view) that a 
lot of this so-called IP was relatively worthless, 
next to the joys of ownership of one's own  
free pile of code, which one could even help
write and build community through doing
(just like the lawyers did).

So the police rebelled and created their 
own Linux lab to teach open source, hiring
me 'n Collord to serve as instructors.  The 
upshot:  teens do not care to venture into a
police station for just about any reason, 
especially not recent emigres with relatives
already in trouble with the law.  So the classes 
had problems with outreach.  Really, this was 
something the teachers should have been 
doing as a part of their professional duties, 
but we all know America's teachers tend to 
be cringing and cowardly, not likely to 
champion civil rights or anything noble
(e.g GNU).  

Or have times changed when we weren't looking?

I guess they may have, as Saturday Academy 
was plenty bold enough, in screening parts of
'Revolution OS' and all the rest of it.  Stallman 
keeps coming back to Portland (Hillsboro is our
neighbor, an Intel HQS).  OSCON is here for a 
reason.  We know how to share and build 
community, while those IP lawyers gain a 
reputation around the world for being ugly and 
litigious, anything but a pleasure doing business 
with.

Kirby


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