107 episodes

A bi-weekly discussion of legal, policy, and other issues in the open source and software freedom community (including occasional interviews) from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Presented by Karen Sandler and Bradley M. Kuhn.

Free as in Freedom Free as in Freedom

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 8 Ratings

A bi-weekly discussion of legal, policy, and other issues in the open source and software freedom community (including occasional interviews) from Brooklyn, New York, USA. Presented by Karen Sandler and Bradley M. Kuhn.

    0x6A: Live Show from SeaGL 2019

    0x6A: Live Show from SeaGL 2019

    The first live podcast of Free as in Freedom, hosted at SeaGL
    2019 in November 2019. Hear questions from the studio audience and
    answers from Bradley and Karen.




    Show Notes:

    Segment 0 (00:38)

    Producer Dan speaks on mic to introduce that this is a live show.



    Segment 1 (01:17)


    This is a live show from SeaGL 2019, a
    community-organized FaiP
    (02:15)
    Carol Smith from Microsoft asked about being a charity in the USA
    under recent tax changes regarding tax deduction and, and asked about Conservancy's
    annual fundraiser which had completed by the time this show
    was released. (04:53)

    Deb took a photo during the show (07:30)

    A questioner asked about the so-called “ethical but-non-FOSS
    licenses”. Bradley gave an answer that is supplemented well by
    this blog post (10:15) and Karen mentioned at CopyleftConf
    2020 there was a discussion about this. (15:15) The follow up question
    was also related to these topics (15:44).

    Eric Hopper asked about how Conservancy decides when a project joins,
    and what factors Conservancy considers in projects joining (18:14)

    A written questioner asked how to handle schools requiring proprietary
    software as part of their coursework. (22:00)

    Michael Dexter asked about Karen's teaching at Columbia Law
    School. (27:25)

    A written questioner asked about copyleft-next's
    sunset clause. (29:22) Karen mentioned “Copyleft, All wrongs
    reversed” as it appeared on n June 1976 on Tiny BASIC, which
    inspired the term copyleft to mean what it does today. (30:45)

    Karen spoke about the issues of copyright and trademark regarding
    Disney, that is supplemented by
    this blog post. (32:52)

    Carol Smith asked what Karen and Bradley thought were Conservancy's
    and/or FOSS' biggest achievements in the last decade. (35:20) Karen
    mentioned Outreachy was a major
    success. (37:08)

    A questioner asked about using the CASE Act to help in GPL
    enforcement. Bradley discussed how it might ultimately introduce problems
    similar to arbitration
    clauses. (41:42) Since the podcast was recorded, the CASE Act has
    also passed the Senate, but does not seem to have been signed by the
    President. (47:30)

    Bradley noted that Mako Hill has pointed out that FOSS
    has not been involved in lobbying enough. (48:10)

    A questioner in the audience asked about the Mozilla Corporation
    structure would allow Mozilla to do lobbying for FOSS. (50:57) Karen
    explained the Mozilla corporate legal structure (51:35).

    A questioner in the audience asked about Mako
    Hill's keynote and how individuals can help further the cause of software
    freedom. (54:53)

    Michael Dexter asked if software patents are still as much of a threat as
    they once were. (1:01:30)

    Carol asked about the supreme court hearing the Oracle v. Google case
    (1:09:04)







    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 1 hr 21 min
    0x69: Microsoft's E-Book Platform and Other DRM Disasters

    0x69: Microsoft's E-Book Platform and Other DRM Disasters

    Karen and Bradley discuss the end to Microsoft's e-book platform and
    generally the dangers and disasters that Digital Restrictions Management
    (DRM) cause for software users and developers.




    Show Notes:

    Karen and Bradley discuss the end to Microsoft's e-book platform and
    generally the dangers and disasters that Digital Restrictions Management
    (DRM) cause for software users and developers.


    Segment 0 (00:35)



    Bradley mentioned that Microsoft ended
    their e-book platform. He said this was “last month” but
    we ended up releasing this show late, so it was in August 2019
    (01:31).

    Bradley mentioned the analog hole. (09:50)

    Karen discussed the exception
    process under DMCA, which Conservancy
    participated in regarding “Smart” TVs. (12:30)

    Bradley mentioned this historical
    burning of the Library of Alexandria as a Roman weapon, comparing it
    to DRM. (15:07)

    Bradley talked about how Netflix
    and Microsoft used Silverlight initially as the method of DRM, and
    that Microsoft was a leader in the entertainment industry in providing DRM
    (20:00)



    Segment 1 (26:31)


    Bradley and Karen discuss how DRM and other lock-down of devices,
    including medical devices, are creating problems in society generally.

    Karen noted that the role of for-profit companies is not to
    safeguard the public interest. (41:10)

    Bradley mentioned you can turn
    off DRM on the Google Play store for your book (as the
    publisher). (43:04)






    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 46 min
    0x68: Molly De Blanc at CopyleftConf 2019

    0x68: Molly De Blanc at CopyleftConf 2019

    Bradley and Karen enjoy and discuss Molly De Blanc's keynote at the
    first annual CopyleftConf, entitled The Margins of Software Freedom, followed by an exclusive interview with Molly!




    Show Notes:

    Segment 0 (00:37)


    Bradley mentioned (without the title) the film, When
    a Stranger Calls, which is indeed a real movie, not a TV movie,
    and was from the late 1970s —
    although Bradley saw it on TV sometime in the 1980s. (02:15)

    Segment 1 (04:11)

    A recording of Molly De
    Blanc's keynote at the first annual (2019) CopyleftConf, entitled entitled
    The Margins of Software Freedom. Slides
    for Molly's talk are available on her gitlab account.


    Segment 2 (20:11)

    Bradley and Karen talk about the keynote and set up the interview.


    Segment 3 (23:56)

    Extended interview with Molly from on site at CopyleftConf 2019!


    Segment 4 (34:06)



    Bradley and Karen discuss what ideas Molly's interview got them
    thinking about.

    Bradley wrote a blog post about Delta's
    anti-union marketing. (40:50)

    Molly De Blanc is now an employee at
    the GNOME Foundation and President
    of the Open Source Initiative (52:53)





    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 58 min
    0x67: Analysis of Two Backports of GPLv3 Termination Provisions to GPLv2

    0x67: Analysis of Two Backports of GPLv3 Termination Provisions to GPLv2

    Bradley and Karen discuss two additional permissions that can be used
    to “backport” the GPLv3
    Termination provisions to GPLv2
    — the Kernel Enforcement Statement Additional Permission, and the
    Red Hat Cooperation Commitment. A blog post on Conservancy's site summarizes the discussion on this show.




    Show Notes:

    Segment 0 (00:35)



    Bradley mentioned irregardless
    is not actually a word, but it does appear to be slang, which dates
    back to 1795! (03:23)

    The
    additional permission system was codified as a formal part of
    GPLv3, but are generally more informal under GPLv2. (05:24)

    Karen explained what the Principles
    of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement. (07:49)

    Karen mentioned that Daleks terminate!
    (08:51)



    Segment 1 (13:04)


    Bradley mentioned the inbound=outbound FOSS licensing
    contributor assent system (18:15)


    Segment 2 (26:10)



    Karen and Bradley discuss the term “non-defensive” and what
    it means.

    Bradley mentioned the Twin
    Peaks lawsuit as a non-hypothetical case where the RHCC would not
    apply where GPL enforcement was used by Red Hat itself as a retaliation
    tactic. (29:23)

    The Kernel
    Enforcement Statement and the RHCC
    are available online.


    Segment 3 (38:40)
    The next episode of will be an interview with Molly De Blanc and
    recording of her keynote at CopyleftConf 2019





    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 41 min
    0x66: The End of Hellwig vs. VMware

    0x66: The End of Hellwig vs. VMware

    Bradley and Karen discuss the details of the completion
    of the lawsuit (which Conservancy supported) between Christoph Hellwig and
    VMware in Germany.




    Show Notes:

    Segment 0 (00:37)


    Bradley mentioned the episode of Red Dwarf,
    White
    Hole, where the characters
    are speaking too slowly or two quickly due to time
    differentials. (01:30)

    Bradley explained that the
    Hellwig vs. VMware suit in Germany has concluded. (03:30)

    German is a civil law
    legal system. (05:15)

    Christoph Hellwig announced
    on his website that he has decided not to appeal. (07:18)

    Bradley did a technical
    analysis how much of Christoph's code appeared in the infringing VMware
    product. (07:50)

    Till Jaeger
    was Christoph's lawyer; Till was also the lawyer for Harald Welte's
    (currently defunct) gpl-violations.org
    project. (09:04)

    Segment 1 (09:26)



    “Trolling”
    refers to being a non-practicing entity. Patrick McHardy is specifically
    a practicing entity, since he upstreamed a lot of code in
    Linux. (09:50)

    Bradley was thinking of the patent troll, Intellectual
    Ventures. (10:40)

    Bradley that the Eastern
    district of Texas hears many patent cases in the USA. (10:50)

    Bradley mentioned a This
    American Life, Episode 411, which discussed patents. Show
    hosts/producers Laura Sydell and Alex Blumberg visit one of those
    “empty-but-not” office buildings in the Eastern District of
    Texas. (11:18)

    Bradley
    and Karen wrote about Patrick McHardy's behavior back in July 2016
    — Conservancy was the first to talk about it publicly. Bradley
    sought to prevent the “compliance industrial complex” from
    using knowledge of Patrick's behavior to unduly scare people. (13:10)

    Conservancy (with FSF) also published the
    Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement (15:10)

    The rest of the Netfilter team,
    except for Patrick McHardy, endorsed the
    Principles. (16:30)

    The VMware suit started 2015-03-05, and began before Patrick McHardy
    started his problematic behavior. While the VMware suit was working its
    way through the court, McHardy had filed many inappropriate
    lawsuits. (18:30)

    German court decisions are very rarely published, but thanks to hard
    work by everyone involved, the appeal
    decision, and the lower
    Court's decision (the latter of which was also translated
    into English.) (27:30)

    Segment 2 (33:01)

    In the next episode, Karen will discuss the Kernel Enforcement
    Statement Additional Permission, and the Red Hat “Cooperation
    Commitment”. (35:40)




    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 38 min
    0x65: Linux Foundation's Community Bridge

    0x65: Linux Foundation's Community Bridge

    Bradley and Karen discuss and critique the new initiative by the Linux Foundation called
    CommunityBridge. The podcast includes various analysis that expands
    upon their
    blog post about Linux Foundation's CommunityBridge.



    Show Notes:

    Segment 0 (00:36)

    Conservancy helped Free Software Foundation and GNOME Foundation begin
    fiscal sponsorship work. (07:50)
    Conservancy has always been very coordinated with Software in the
    Public Interest, which is a FOSS fiscal sponsor that predates Conservancy. (08:26)
    Conservancy helped NumFocus get started as a fiscal sponsor by providing
    advice. (08:53)
    The above are all 501(c)(3) charities, but there are also 501(c)(6)
    fiscal sponsors, such as Linux Foundation and Eclipse
    Foundation. (10:00)
    Bradley mentioned that projects that are forks can end up in different
    fiscal sponsors, such as Hudson
    being in Eclipse Foundation, and Jenkins
    being associated with a Linux Foundation sub-org. (10:30)
    Bradley mentioned that any project — be it SourceForge, GitHub, or
    Community Bridge — that attempts to convince FOSS developers to use
    proprietary software for their projects is immediately suspect
    (12:00)
    Open Collective, a
    for-profit company seeking to do fiscal sponsorship (but attempting to
    release their code for it) is likely under the worst
    “competitive” threat from this initiative. (19:50)

    Segment 1 (21:23)


    Projects that use CommunityBridge are
    required to act in the common business interest of the Linux Foundation
    members. (27:30)

    Board of Directors seats at the Linux Foundation are for sale,
    according to their by-laws. (28:50)

    Bradley advises that you should not put anything copylefted into
    CommunityBridge — given Linux Foundation's position on copyleft and
    citing the ArduPilot/DroneCode example. (29:50)

    CommunityBridge appears to
    only allow governance based on the “benevolent dictator for life
    model” (31:40), at least with regard to who controls the money
    (34:30)

    Bradley mentioned the LWN
    article about Community Bridge. (33:22)

    Segment 2 (36:54)

    Karen mentioned that CommunityBridge also purports to address
    diversity and security issues for FOSS projects. (37:00)
    Bradley mentioned the code hosted on k.sfconservancy.org and also the Reimbursenator
    project that PSU students wrote. (42:00)

    Segment 3 (42:44)
    Bradley and Karen discuss (or, possibly don't) discuss what's coming up
    on the next episode. Fact of the matter is that this announcement wasn't written yet when we recorded this episode and we weren't sure if 0x65 would be released before or after that announcement was released. We'll be discussing that topic on 0x66.





    Send feedback and comments on the cast
    to .
    You can keep in touch with Free as in Freedom on our IRC channel, #faif on irc.freenode.net, and
    by following Conservancy on
    on Twitter and and FaiF on Twitter.


    Free as in Freedom is produced by Dan Lynch
    of danlynch.org.
    Theme
    music written and performed
    by Mike Tarantino
    with Charlie Paxson on drums.



    The content
    of this
    audcast, and the accompanying show notes and music are licensed
    under the Creative
    Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

eahiv ,

Smart and listenable

A great podcast. Glad it's back in 2018/2019!

j-leist ,

Awesome show

Anyone with an interest in Free/Libre and Open Source Software should listen regularly (hopefully the episodes continue). The presenters have done incredible things to advance the movement through both the FSF and Software Freedom Conservancy, and they have some great insights into the current state of software freedom.

NampaFlier ,

Not Horrible People

Glad the show is back!

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