Free Software. Open Source. Software Freedom. Free as in Speech or Free as in Beer?

We're all familiar with the buzzwords, the catchphrases, and slogans. We all know the "GPL vs BSD" debate, and have probably participate in it at some point. But what do they mean, really? Is Open Source really just a friendlier name for Free Software, or is there something more to it?

Yes. Yes there is. Free Software, at its core, is a philosophical, cultural, and political movement. It is a part of, and inspiration for, the Free Culture movement. A movement born of a simple belief: That you should have control of your own digital destiny, and that it is immoral to deprive people of that right.

Let's try to recollect where our community came from, and the principles upon which it was founded.


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Steve Grunwell at 15:57 on 9 Mar 2019

Free software is a major passion and fundamental belief of Larry's, and it absolutely comes through in this talk. The audience is taken on a roller coaster between "of course ethics are important, where's he going with this?" to "WTAF, what kinds of monsters would do that?!"

Eugen Neuber at 16:19 on 9 Mar 2019

Great talk!
Free software movement was a bit outdated for the last 10 years -- good to hear it again!
I'm old enough to be a witness of Microsoft/Balmer's "GPL is cancer" statement.
We all need to make money for a living, but by acting together solving problems, not taking advantage by harming each other. Larry nailed it!

Ian Littman at 18:56 on 9 Mar 2019

Excellent delivery, highly applicable topic. A bit absolutist...there's some level of nuance for pragmatic application of Free Software principles...but given how software has eaten the world the discussion of who owns the code and who the code works for has to be at the front of folks' minds way more than it is. Particularly for those writing said code. This talk delivers on this need.

Other conference organizers, yes, you want this as a keynote. It's position as a closing keynote worked quite well.

Noah Bratzel at 11:46 on 10 Mar 2019

I felt a bit yelled at after this talk. I think the point and intention of this talk is good, but it came off very negative for me. I could have use the history lesson and the arguments delivered in a way that was positive and educational without feeling like I was being blamed.