FOSDEM 2006 in Brussels

FREE SOFTWARE ON THE CAMPUS

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Non-commercial, uncomplicated and ever popular, 3,500 developers met on the campus of the Free University of Brussels for FOSDEM 2006.

Raphael Bauduin has a big smile on his face: the event he launched in 2000 as a free software meeting at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has just celebrated its sixth birthday. At the Free and Opensource Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) February 25 and 26, some 3,500 participants invaded the narrow corridors of the university buildings – not only developers from Europe, but many guests from the USA and all over the world. In his keynote FSF President Richard Stallmann lashed out against software patents, which he referred to as a “threat to anyone who uses or develops free software”. Unfortunately, for most developers, avoiding or licensing patents were not acceptable approaches to handling patent issues, he continued. And most people just could not afford to battle over patent issues in court. This is what caused Stallman to call on Europeans to fight software patents on a political level. He went on to introduce the audience to the latest developments in version 3 of the GPL, calling on them to post their comments on the latest draft of the license at http:// gplv3. fsf. org. The draft process will be entering the next round in July.

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