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The University of Vermont Computer Science Student Association will present
Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation (fsf.org), in
Lafayette 403 on October 14, 2003 from 6:30 - 8:30pm via video conference
feed. The talk will be open to the public and free of admission, however the
room seats only 50 people so the CSSA will have an RSVP period (TBA) for
people to reserve seats.
The subject of the talk however has yet to be determined. We have 3 options
outlined below. Please read the following abstracts and if you have a
preference, send me an email ([log in to unmask]) by next Monday (9/15)
indicating which talk you would like to participate in. I will tally the
responses and announce the talk with the appropriate abstract shortly after.
1) The Free Software Movement and the GNU/Linux Operating System
Richard Stallman will speak about the purpose, goals, philosophy,
methods, status, and future prospects of the GNU operating system,
which in combination with the kernel Linux is now used by an
estimated 17 to 20 million users world wide.
2) Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks
Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed
to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing
press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer
networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.
The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying
for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers,
while suppressing public access to technology. But if we
seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of
copyright--to promote progress, for the benefit of the
public--then we must make changes in the other direction.
3) For Against Software Patents, you can use this abstract:
Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct
software development. Software patents are patents that cover
software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so
that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents
in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict
every computer user. Economic research shows that they even
If you have any further questions about the CSSA Speaker Series, don't
hesitate to contact me or any other CSSA officer; the CSSA welcomes all
comments. Also, if you are a student or faculty member who would like to give
a talk in this year's series we would be delighted to host such an event. We
look forward to a great year full of engaging CSSA activities!
David Van Horn
Public Liaison Officer of the CSSA
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