October Newsletter /Summit

Florian Snow floriansnow at fsfe.org
Tue Oct 11 05:43:18 UTC 2016

Hi Werner,

Werner Koch <wk at gnupg.org> writes:
> I miss any mentioning of an (internal) discussion in the aftermath of a
> very questionable talk[2] advertising proprietary software.

Thank you for pointing out that talk.  I was not aware of any problems
with it so far.  I will watch the recording soon.

> The speaker of that talk is head of a company selling non-free
> software but trying to get associated with Free Software.

There were a couple of speakers from that category at the summit.  While
that certainly makes me take a closer look and makes me more suspicious,
I would not want to exclude these people from giving talks _purely_
because they work in a non-free software job.  The talk needs to be
about Free Software, though, of course.

> In the F&Q after the talk the speaker was asked about this (35'50''
> into the video) and confirmed that their software is and will not be
> published under a Free Software license.  He also said that he did not
> think cloud services should at all require Free Software, be it GPL or
> BSD.

Ok, this is a serious problem.

> It was a straight ad talk and that should have been known to the
> program committee:

I disagree.  I was on the program committee and given the same
circumstances, I would approve the talk again.  The abstract (the same
that is on the QtCon page) has a clear focus on Free Software.

> For example, the FSFE president was´ recently guest at one of their
> dinner events and before that he had asked me about my opinion on that
> company (I once gave a keynote at one of their events).

I don't know.  Perhaps Matthias should have known, but I am really not
sure.  The description of the talk was good and if Matthias had said
something negative about the speaker, the committee would probably still
have voted for the talk because of the content it was supposed to have.
I think if Matthias used some sort of veto on talks, that would not make
anyone happy either.

Again, I was cautious with any suggested talk that came from people
working for companies that use and promote a lot of non-free software.
Sometimes the talk still sounded very much focussed on what the company
does _for_ Free Software or perhaps how the speaker fights for Free
Software within the company.  I want those talks at a summit, but I
agree with you that the talk in question here was a bad choice in

Happy hacking!

More information about the Discussion mailing list