Past Engagements

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Bradley M. Kuhn gave the evening keynote at The Ohio Linux Fest 2007.


Over the last decade, Open Source and Free Software finally achieved a new level of mainstream success; it has become an integral part of our technological infrastructure. While this software freedom movement was founded by those who wrote the software, it is defended by the licensing structures and legal systems that were designed to respect, rather than reject, the rights of users. These freedoms — which allow users to copy, share, modify and redistribute that software — created a unique ecosystem that allowed the community to flourish.

In this talk, Kuhn will discuss his ongoing efforts (which he began a decade ago as a graduate student at Ohio’s own University of Cincinnati) to help preserve, protect and promote these freedoms embodied in software freedom licenses like the GPL. Kuhn will outline his past work at the Free Software Foundation in this regard, explain the motivations and ideas that led to the creation and fruition of the Software Freedom Law Center and the Software Freedom Conservancy, and discuss the challenges that lie ahead for defending software freedom.

Available records

  • Audio posted October 3, 2007
  • Audio posted October 3, 2007
  • Audio posted October 3, 2007

We at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) seek to live up to our name and run our small law office with only Free Software. In this talk, SFLC’s CTO will discuss the challenges and successes using Ubuntu exclusively as both the server and desktop environment for a non-profit law firm.

Of course, the traditional system administration challenges such as problematic network printer setup, broken MUAs, and the like are unfortunately as common today on Ubuntu systems as they were ten years ago on Solaris. Despite these problems, we’ve found that joining the Free Software ethos with traditional law firm operations has made our operation more productive than we had hoped.

Our Ubuntu-based office is probably the first law firm to answer its doorbell and keep its billing records from IRC, to integrate intranet blogging solutions with incoming and outgoing telephone logs, and to use SVN to store its contract documents. This talk will detail these varied ways that SFLC has merged Free Software culture and tools to the non-profit legal world.

More information on conference available at

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