LibrePlanet Day 2, DRM, contributing, and advice
Doctorow presented "Beyond unfree: The software you can go to jail for talking about." Related to his current anti-Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) work, he addressed the wide range of risks threatened by copyright, trademark, and patent laws, as well as the use and institutionalization of DRM. But he did not just paint a bleak image, instead reminding the audience that the fight against DRM and similar restrictions is ongoing. "My software freedom," Doctorow said, "is intersectional."
The day also saw LibrePlanet's first birds of a feather (BoF) sessions. BoFs are self-organized sessions that gather people around a shared interest. Sessions this year included:
- Liberating the education system
- Free and open source geospatial technology
- Peer-to-peer crypto-social networking
- Collective action for political change
- A look at Snowdrift.coop
- and a cryptoparty
Over the course of the weekend, there were two raffle drawings and door prizes courtesy of free software/open hardware companies including Aleph Objects, Technoethical, and ThinkPenguin, as well as DRM-free publisher No Starch Press and local brewery Aeronaut.
The conference closed with Sumana Harihareswara's discussion of things she wishes she had known in 1998, when she first got involved in free software. Drawing inspiration from the work of the theater company the Neo-Futurists, she invited the audience to help her choose from a list of 35 topics by calling out by number the item they wanted to hear about next--until a timer set for 35 minutes ran out. Her topics ranged from technical to personal to the importance of welcoming communities, and she closed by discussing the value of harm reduction in free software. Video of her talk is available now.
Nearly 400 people participated in LibrePlanet 2017, which was powered by 41 amazing volunteers, who did everything from hanging signs, stacking chairs, and sweeping floors to introducing speakers, fielding questions, and running the video streaming system.