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You are here: Home Bulletins Bulletins from 2008 Fall 2008 Volunteer Spotlight: Conley Owens

Volunteer Spotlight: Conley Owens

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Feb 06, 2009 04:52 PM
Conley Owens is studying data mining at Virginia Tech and currently working on his masters degree. He is also the founder of Students for Free Culture at Virginia Tech.

Questions were asked by Matt Lee, FSF campaigns manager.

Matt: Conley, what is Students for Free Culture?

Conley: Students for Free Culture is an international chapter-based student organization that promotes the public interest in copyright and information/communications technology policy. If you don't know what that means, it's okay, because none of us really does either!

Matt: How can artists get involved with local student groups like yours?

Conley: Find us! Talk to us! We are cool people! Specifically, some chapters struggle in reaching out to those in non-technical fields, so having artists to bridge that gap is great.

Matt: One of the most exciting things for me right now is the creation of good free creativity software -- what are your favorite pieces of free software for creativity?

Conley: I just discovered Hugin recently from an article on, and it's pretty nifty. I think the GIMP is probably one of the best pieces of free creativity software. For video editing, I use Cinelerra. And to add a few more for good measure: synfig for animation, Audacity for audio editing, and, of course, Blender for 3D modelling.

Matt: On the flip side, what are we really lacking?

Conley: Video editing. I mentioned Cinelerra, but it is terribly unstable. I save every couple of minutes because it crashes that frequently. There are several stable video editors, but they just don't have the same functionality. We really need something to compete with proprietary software in the way that the GIMP can compete with Photoshop. Patent unencumbered formats and codecs are really vital too -- many people don't seem to think it is much of an issue, but I say it is.

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