Eleventh annual LibrePlanet conference set for March 23-24, 2019

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by Free Software Foundation — Published on Sep 05, 2018 08:58 AM
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Wednesday, September 5, 2018 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the dates of the eleventh annual LibrePlanet free software conference, to be held March 23-24, 2019, in the Boston area.

The call for proposals is open now, until October 26, 2018. General registration and exhibitor and sponsor registrationare also open.

LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software users and anyone who cares about the intersection of technology and social justice. For a decade, LibrePlanet has brought together thousands of diverse voices and knowledge bases, including free software developers, policy experts, activists, hackers, students, and people who have just begun to learn about free software.

LibrePlanet 2019 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels, including newcomers. Sharon Woods, general counsel for the Defense Digital Service (US Department of Defense) said, “Last year was my first LibrePlanet… I walked away a complete believer in free software.” In just the last three years, over a thousand people from around the world have attended LibrePlanet, with many more participating online by watching the free software-powered livestream, joining the conversation on IRC, or viewing nearly 40 hours of archived video on the FSF’s GNU MediaGoblin instance.

LibrePlanet 2019’s theme is “Trailblazing Free Software.” In 1983, the free software movement was born with the announcement of the GNU Project. FSF founder Richard Stallman saw the dangers of proprietary code from the beginning: when code was kept secret from users, they would be controlled by the technology they used, instead of vice versa. In contrast, free software emphasized a community-oriented philosophy of sharing code freely, enabling people to understand how the programs they used worked, to build off of each other’s code, to pay it forward by sharing their own code, and to create useful software that treated users fairly.

“Every year, ideas are introduced, discussed, and developed at LibrePlanet that advance the free software movement and help technology and associated law actually serve the people using them,” said FSF executive director John Sullivan. “People will leave the next edition doubly motivated to chart a path away from dependency on unfree software companies like Facebook, Apple, Uber, and Microsoft, and with new knowledge about tools to help them do so.”

When he identified control over one’s own computer as a requirement for ethical, trustworthy computing, Stallman anticipated some of the most toxic aspects of today’s proprietary software-filled world, including Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), bulk surveillance, and Service as a Software Substitute (SaaSS). With a new and growing generation of free software enthusiasts, we can take this conference as an opportunity to discuss both the present and the future of the free software movement. Using the Four Freedoms as a litmus test for ethical computing, we ask, “How will free software continue to bring to life trailblazing, principled new technologies and new approaches to the world?”

Call for Proposals

LibrePlanet 2019’s talks and hands-on workshops can be for developers, young people, newcomers to free software, activists looking for technology that aligns with their ideals, policymakers, hackers, artists, and tinkerers. Potential talks should examine or utilize free software, copyleft, and related issues.

“Each year, newcomers and longtime free software activists of all ages surprise us with unique ideas they propose to explore at LibrePlanet,” said Georgia Young, program manager at the FSF. “We are excited to see what trailblazing talk and workshop possibilities people bring to the conference for 2019.”

Submissions to the call for proposals are being accepted through Friday, October 26, 2018 at 10:00 EDT (14:00 UTC).

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation. Over the last decade, LibrePlanet has blossomed from a small gathering of FSF members into a vibrant multi-day event that attracts a broad audience of people who are interested in the values of software freedom. To sign up for announcements about LibrePlanet 2019, visithttps://www.libreplanet.org/2019.

Each year at LibrePlanet, the FSF presents its annual Free Software Awards. Nominations for the awards are open through Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 23:59 UTC.

For information on how your company can sponsor LibrePlanet or have a table in our exhibit hall, email campaigns@fsf.org.

LibrePlanet 2018 was held at MIT from March 24-25, 2018. Nearly 350 attendees came together from across the world for workshops and talks centered around the theme of “Freedom Embedded.” You can watch videos from last year’s conference, including the opening keynote, an exploration of the potential for the free software community to last foreverby maintaining its ideals while also welcoming newcomers, by Deb Nicholson, who is now director of community operations for the Software Freedom Conservancy.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants — and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF’s work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

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