THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The second international conference on ‘Freedom in Computing’, ‘Development and Culture’ will begin in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the three-day conference at a function to be held at the University Senate Hall at 5 p.m. Richard Stallman, founder of Free Software Foundation, will deliver the keynote address.
Free Software Free Society (FSFS) is the main theme of the conference. It will discuss the application of the free software model for freeing intellectual artifacts from restrictive laws such as the Copyright Act, and making it available for human development. The conference will also address issues such as technology access and the digital divide, legal issues and experiences of using the free software model in fields such as music and literature.
As many as 500 delegates working in the free software arena, including Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and Alan Story, head of Copy South Research Group, will take part in the conference, jointly being organised by the State IT Mission and SPACE (Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment). The conference will begin with the keynote address on ‘Software patent : Indian and international scenario’ by Eben Moglen, professor of law and legal history at Columbia University and founder, Director-Counsel and chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, at Mascot Hotel at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a lecture by Michel Bauwens, Belgian integral philosopher and peer-to-peer theorist.
Neville Roy Singham, founder and chairman of ThoughtWorks, Inc., will deliver the keynote address on December 10. Roy and ThoughtWorks are recognised experts in enterprise architecture, agile development, large-scale software development, including highly distributed teams, Open Source Software, Ruby, .NET and web services.
A lecture on ‘ethical economy’ by Adam Arvidsson, University of Milano, Italy, and lecturer on Creative Industries at the Copenhagen Business School will follow.
Jimmy Donal Wales will deliver a lecture on ‘Malayalam Wikipedia - way forward’ on December 11.
Freedom Expo 2008, an exhibition for students and the public on free software philosophy and projects, will also be conducted at Kanakakkunnu, as part of the conference. Poster exhibition, open movie festival and Swathanthra Malayalam Computing Stall on Malayalam localisation are the highlights of the Expo. It will also showcase the history and importance of free software movements in the world through poster exhibition and demonstration of free software projects.
Other events of the exhibition are install fest and repository, general Word Processing, graphics and video editing, scientific computing, open hardware and computing for disabled. The exhibition is jointly organised by the GNU/Linux Users Group Trivandrum, Free Software Users Group, Kozhikode, GNU/Linux User Group Cochin and FSUG, Thrissur, Free Software Cell, Govt. Engineering College, Barton Hill, National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode, and MES Engineering College, Kuttippuram.