[SWLUG] (fwd) Richard M. Stallman talk - June 5th (fwd)

David Goodwin dof at codepoets.co.uk
Wed May 22 12:52:45 UTC 2002

Just incase anyone on these lists happen to be interested ...


------- Forwarded Message

Date:    Wed, 22 May 2002 13:37:03 +0100
From:    Gareth Bowker <tgb at tgb.org.uk>
To:      cs-dept at aber.ac.uk, cs-students at aber.ac.uk
cc:      is-staff at aber.ac.uk, Diane.Rowland at aber.ac.uk, cia at llgc.org.uk
Subject: Richard M. Stallman talk - June 5th

I've organised for Richard Stallman to come to Aberystwyth to give a talk on
June the 5th. The talk will be at 4:30pm until approx. 7:00pm in Physics
Main. The talk is kindly funded by the Dept. of Computer Science (thanks,
Chris!). The talk is open to anyone, so if you know someone who may be
interested in coming, please forward this e-mail.

More details are available at http://tgb.org.uk/rms/


Stallman's Biography:

Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU Project, launched in 1984 to
develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for `GNU's Not Unix''), and
thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost. GNU is
free software: everyone is free to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to
make changes either large or small.

Today, Linux-based variants of the GNU system, based on the kernel Linux
developed by Linus Torvalds, are in widespread use. There are estimated to be
some 20 million users of GNU/Linux systems today. 

Richard Stallman is the principal author of the GNU Compiler Collection, a
portable optimizing compiler which was designed to support diverse
architectures and multiple languages. The compiler now supports over 30
different architectures and 7 programming languages.

Stallman also wrote the GNU symbolic debugger (GDB), GNU Emacs, and various
other GNU programs.

Stallman graduated from Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his
college years, he also worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial
Intelligence Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote
the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975. In January 1984 he
resigned from MIT to start the GNU Project. 

Stallman will be talking about Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer
Networks as well as talking about The Dangers of Software Patents.

Abstract for Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks:

    Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed
    to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing
    press.  But the copyright system does not fit well with computer
    networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.

    The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying
    for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers,
    while suppressing public access to technology.  But if we
    seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of
    copyright--to promote progress, for the benefit of the
    public--then what must be done is either to reduce copyright
    powers or effectively eliminate them, depending on the kind of
    work.  Governments must now protect the public's right to copy.

Abstract for The Dangers of Software Patents:

    Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct
    software development.  Software patents are patents that cover
    software ideas.  They restrict the development of software, so
    that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued.  Patents
    in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict
    every computer user.  Economic research shows that they even
    retard progress.

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David Goodwin 

[ dof at codepoets dot co dot uk ]
[ http://www.codepoets.co.uk     ]
[ BEng Software Engineering, UWA ]

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