[hackerspaces] Software Freedom Day - 20th edition

Jurgen Gaeremyn jurgen at gaeremyn.be
Tue Aug 1 15:55:36 CEST 2023

Hi Magnus,

Thanks for taking a look (and your critical eye). There's a long history 
here. In the period 2004-2010, internet wasn't prevalent at all (let 
alone broadband internet). Handing out CD's with a bunch of FOSS 
software was a main motivator to organize these events. At the bottom of 
the about-page here 
<https://www.digitalfreedomfoundation.org/index.php/about>, you can find 
some history about TheOpenCD project that was part of the inception. 
Indeed, around 2008 there were close to 600 groups organizing Software 
Freedom Day. Bejing LUG did a hell of job back then making packages with 
swag that got sent around the world. These contained some T-shirts, a 
banner, a bunch of balloons and stickers and also a stack of CD's (I 
still remember getting an Ubuntu Ship-it CD for 14.04 back in the days).

So there are practical changes (availability software through online 
channels, no more swag), but I also see ideological changes. Talking for 
Belgium - I saw a big shift from "Open Source" to "Open Standards" 
(which is an important downgrade imo) and from innocuous (aka viral) 
licenses to permissive licenses... serving the developers (and 
companies) rather than the users. Big tech companies successfully 
succeeded marketing FOSS as being irrelevant because "less free" and 
using negative terminology like "viral licensing".

Now we're with a new team of volunteers putting our shoulders under SFD 
(and the Digital Freedom Foundation in general, which also has Hardware 
Freedom Day, Document Freedom Day and Education Freedom Day). For this 
year the focus is on getting up and running again. Going onwards, we're 
look to streamline our tools and legal structures again. I like to dream 
big, and hope that one day we'll be able to actually support local 
groups with (physical and/or virtual) swag to empower groups. Also 
reaching out to companies engaged in FOSS software and ask them for 
prizes for teams winning in a given category.

So the positive is: it's easier to grow again. The team that had to take 
over the previous board, had a way much bigger challenge: they had to 
fill some really big shoes. If you like to help think about reshaping 
Software Freedom Day (and the other events), don't hesitate to join us 
on the Matrix channel 
<https://matrix.to/#/#SoftwareFreedomDay:matrix.org> :D


On 1/08/2023 15:14, Lars-Magnus Skog wrote:
> Hi Jurgen!
> Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn't know about this day 
> until now. I looked at the wiki and was trying to find any swedish 
> team from the previous years but had to go back to 2011-2015 to find any.
> It looks like there were a lot of interest in the first half of 2010s 
> (70-90 countries or so) and then dropped off from there quite a bit. 
> I'm guessing covid had a lot to do with this but it started dropping 
> even before 2019-2020. Any idea why that is?
> Will register a swedish team in my city and we'll see what happens.
> Cheers
> Magnus / rtn / ralphtheninja
> Jurgen Gaeremyn <jurgen at gaeremyn.be> skrev: (1 augusti 2023 08:35:51 UTC)
>     Heya all,
>     Hackerspaces in my experience have been about a lot of things
>     (friendship, technology, society, sharing knowledge, ...). I
>     firmly believe that a sustainable hackerspace should hide in its
>     little bubble, but needs to interact with society. A lot of us are
>     convinced that the four freedoms of Free, Libre and Open Source
>     have bettered society in many ways. We also see walled gardens
>     popping up more and more eating away our freedoms.
>     A few years ago, we had SFD on hundreds of locations all over the
>     world. The last few years, COVID has eaten all these activities...
>     Today I would like to challenge you all to celebrate Software
>     Freedom Day in September. I'll elaborate on the Why and the How
>     down here (just my opinions - not dogma)...
>         Why?
>      1. Technical people already use (FL)OSS more than they are often
>         aware of. I'm thinking of free tools, but certainly also free
>         libraries that other technology is built on. Often liberal
>         licenses like MIT end up becoming invisible (but that's the
>         choice of the licensor so who am I to discuss it)?
>      2. Given that more and more applications nowadays have a cloud
>         component, it will become increasingly important to educate a
>         wider audience of the choices and tradeoffs they make. Where
>         the typical hacker congresses (CCC & the likes) will focus on
>         unveiling hidden connections and how they (inter)act, Software
>         Freedom Day will be less technical but can also touch the same
>         conclusions.
>      3. It's a great opportunity to get in touch with other like
>         minded groups in your area (I'm thinking LUG's, JUGs, Python
>         groups, OpenStreetmap groups, Repair cafés, ...) to team up
>         and build a network around your physical area. You might be
>         surprised what's already out there.
>         How?
>     Meh... I'd say: KISS. Whatever you like to do. Just a few ideas...
>       * Workshops on how to use free software
>       * Talks, debates, ... on how to switch to NextCloud,
>         OpenStreetmap, LibreOffice, Inkscape, ...
>       * Linux Install Party
>       * How to set up a Pi-hole in your home.
>       * Online streaming of a rant or tutorial
>       * Barbecue with free software and affordable beers
>       * Organize a little layman's CTF (Juice shop) and own the hacker
>         cliché
>       * ...
>     You could have a look at the Software Freedom Wiki
>     <https://wiki.softwarefreedomday.org/StartGuide> to get some
>     inspiration. If you register your event
>     <https://www.softwarefreedomday.org/cgi-bin/register.py>, it will
>     appear on the website too, and we'll be promoting it a bit more
>     actively through other social media channels. We're also reaching
>     out to sponsors in the open source community and will be handing
>     out prizes to teams who are exceptional on a specific field (e.g.
>     MuseScore will be giving a year subscription to their online
>     platform that complements their FOSS software). If you have any
>     questions (or want to help organize the global event), don't
>     hesitate to pop in to our Matrix channel
>     <https://matrix.to/#/#SoftwareFreedomDay:matrix.org>!
>     Full disclosure, I'm part of the team organizing Software Freedom
>     Day globally and would like to spark a new fire to the event (I'm
>     not paid or professionally connected in any way though).
>     Hope to hear from you all!
>     Greetings,
>     Jurgen
> -- 
> Skickat från min Android-enhet med K-9 Mail. Ursäkta min fåordighet.
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