21 April 2005

LCA2005 - Pia "Minister of Love" Waugh on Code vs Culture

The Brasilians are all passionate about something larger than the coding community. Freedom as a concept is very important to them, we (in Oz) get all ideological but not enough to really move us.

"This is the only place to transcend differences and work together." Opening up what you're contributing so everyone can take and everyone can give, a whole new bunch of ways to achieve freedom.

"Refugee situation" - FOSS getting an increasingly commercial focus, discussed by guys in suits, becoming a little exclusive and restricted. Become associated with cutting costs and business case "reasons" to the exclusion of the cultural aspects. People starting to miss out on identifying with FOSS due to this. Many of the people becoming involved in it without picking up on the broader consequences.

Open Source, Standards, Licences -> Business Cases and Code

Open Knowledge, Community -> Broader Social Implications

"Open Love" is the [ insert picture of AJ (Anthony) on the dunking stool ] inevitable result.

Pia is trying to communicate the broader message to the community. We now have a “broader misunderstanding” of how to maintain these freedoms.

You need to contribute to the freedom as you would contribute code. Talking about freedom isn't enough. Ther's nothing better than getting people really riled up on an issue to get them to actually do something about it.

ToDo - Code - do it (live it), encourage newbies, document, work with non-coders; ToDo - Culture - contribute, support coders, "love your hacker", thank them, groups - LUGs, LA/OSIA, Government, Business. Apply FOSS principles to other media and pursuits?

Get more people media trained. If any one of you are threatened in any way, take it to the media and the national bodies immediately.

What about users? Most important thing is to convey the freedoms that they now have, it will change how they react to everything else.

Write to or visit you rlocal pollie. 1 letter == 100 to 1000 emails, one personal visit is worth many letters, be neat, clean, polite, professional. Local politician is obliged to speak to you.

OSIA polled all political parties for FOSS opinions and there are people in each party who are positive about it. We don't want to polarise them, we want it to be a "how" question rather than an "if" question.

Get the new whole-of-Oz FOSS procurement guide and take it to your politicians at each level. It's well written, the author had a good understanding of FOSS, and the document is written to address all levels of understanding.

When choosing a FOSS package to use, look at the community around it.

The pollies at the Oz end of the US-FTA didn't grok the issues. Oz is now trying to open FTAs with everyone else. Greg says that these have back-door USFTA-connected "IP" provisions. Oops.

Teaching others about FOSS freedoms is repaying the time other people put into you when you found out about it. Doing advocacy, talking to pollies etc has to relate back to the bigger picture, the broader issues.

Businesses and Government sometimes have a big bunch of money that they can put into things that interest them, may be directly "profitable" to spend time on.

A random audience member made the point that OpenCola might be a small and simple enough concept to assimilate where the whole schmeil may be too much.

Another mentioned the need to point out that MP3 downloading etc actually is illegal but downloading Firefox etc is not merely legal but encouraged.

Distinguish between the various "Intellectual Property" components and sort out people's ideas on patents, copyrights etc. Pia politely told the Attorney General he was wrong after he'd said words to the effect that Open Source people don't care very much about copyright. (-:

"Not all roses", there are some dangers. Legal issues (we've already gone through), the risk of division and defeat (marginalisation), the possibility of civil disobedience, "anyone can play".

Meritocracy - build it up by encouragement, ComputerAngels projects, coaching, Community Code. Start with common ground. Get exposure, use politicos' love of "image" to buy your own exposure.

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