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Gearing up for Software Freedom Day 2010

It’s just under two weeks until Software Freedom Day is celebrated – and I’m so excited by this year’s event!

It’s promising to be the best Melbourne event ever – with Senator Kate Lundy confirmed to speak on Government 2.0 and Rami Olwan of Creative Commons also speaking. And let’s not forget a raft of short presentations from the likes of Richard Jones, who spearheads Melbourne’s Python community and Colin Jacobs – chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia. Luminaries Donna Benjamin and Ben Sturmfels will also be addressing what is expected to be an audience of several hundred.

I really feel that this year has marked a turning point in the promotion of free and open source (FOSS) tools and a coming of age of the community. Netbooks are now shipped with Linux, GIMP is a term in widespread use and WordPress and Drupal are tools of choice. The community has gained credibility through programs such as the LUV Beginners’ Workshops, and through consistent delivery of engaging and informative events – such as previous Software Freedom Days.

The global financial crisis has highlighted the need to derive significant value for money from the software tools that we use – and in some ways has caused both businesses and individuals to question why they’re paying hundreds of dollars for tools when FOSS equivalents are freely available.

Growing awareness of privacy violations and the general attitude of some large social networking sites toward user ownership of data has also come to the fore, helped in no small part by the efforts of Paul Fenwick. The Patent Absurdity campaign, aiming to abolish software patents, has highlighted the need to reform restrictive practices which stifle innovation – and therefore the information economy.

Interested? More information below 🙂

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Software Freedom Day Melbourne 2010 is kindly and generously sponsored by: