Shane Coughlan:

Shane is a political scientist by study, though he has been meddling with technology since programming stuff on a Sinclair Z80 when he was eight years old. This conflict of interest eventually lead him to write an MA thesis on the subject of cybernetic warfare. Shane is involved in numerous projects, including FreeDOS, Enigmail OpenPGP, WinPT, OpenGEM and Mobility. He is an associate of the Free Software Foundation, a fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe, and a member of New Labour.

The talk:

The talk is a general introduction to Free Software as a concept, and the Free Software Foundation Europe as a body. We will answer questions people have about the purpose of this particular movements, clarify the relationship between the various Free Software Foundations around the world, and explore why politics and technology have become intertwined.

The talk with touch on issues like intellectual property, DRM, and the way business needs to be encouraged rather than rejected in Free Software models. We will also have a look at how governments and legal systems are changing to cope with the new paradigm of digital technology, and we'll look at where we as hobbiests and users fit into this picture.