[Fsfe-ie] What's the point of a free software business event?

Shane M. Coughlan shane at shaneland.co.uk
Thu Jan 11 15:43:47 CET 2007

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> I don't think companies are going to liberate their software based on any
> inspirational event we can organise.  So how does the free software
> community get businesses do liberate software?
> 1. It's by creating a market - by convincing software users not to buy
>    non-free software.
> 2. It's by showing decision makers that free software is not risky, that
>    support is available, that it's not going to disappear, and that they
>    wouldn't be the first to move to free software.
> 3. It's by arming our embeds :) -all the free software supports working
>    inside companies that use or distribute proprietary software -by arming
>    them with the arguments and the examples and case studies necessary to
>    make convincing arguments to the decision makers.
> Item #1 is what the usual free software events do.  So this kind of event
> should be aimed at items #2 and #3.
> So, do people agree that both items #2 and #3 are worth aiming for and that
> an event can do both?  What speakers have we seen that are good?  What
> topics or types of talks are most useful?  Are their goals, other than the
> three I've given, that we can aim for?

I agree with you that #2 and #3 are the critical issues.  For instance,
one of the key tasks of the Freedom Task Force is to push agenda #2, by
educating people in what Free Software licences really mean.

For the record, I'd be delighted to have the opportunity to present Free
Software licensing in a business context at any event in Ireland.

I think one key thing with this event is to look for a positive message
promoting the idea of sustainable revenue and expanding markets through
the use of Free Software.  It's really important to speak the language
of the people who need to show sustained returns month by month.



Shane Coughlan
FTF Coordinator
Free Software Foundation Europe
+41435000366 ext 408
coughlan at fsfeurope.org
Support Free Software > http://fsfe.org

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