Software Freedom Conservancy

Successful First Copyleft Conf!

by Deb Nicholson on February 22, 2019

Last year, in FOSDEM's Legal & Policy Devroom , we promised to hold an event co-located with the 2019 FOSDEM to have more in depth discussion around the legal issues that we care about as a community and in particular, copyleft. We made good on that promise and this year the first annual Copyleft Conf took place on February 4th. About 150 people came to the event from copyleft enthusiasts to the "copyleft curious." The venue, DigitYser was funky and accessible and walking distance from many downtown Brussels hotels.

Molly deBlanc discussing the impact of free software on marginalized groups in front of a full room.

By all accounts, it was a very successful first event. We had 25 speakers, panelists and discussion leaders -- including lawyers, coders, academics, non-profit employees and industry folks. The audience was extremely engaged, participating in discussions and asking great questions.

The Right Time

Here at Conservancy, we've wanted GPL compliance and copyleft licensing to be de-mystified and approachable for a long time. We also wanted to provide a place to talk about the future of copyleft; where else it might impactfully be applied, how it might evolve as technology changes and how it could best serve the next generation of users and developers. Additionally, we needed it to be a friendly, welcoming space where new folks and more experienced folks could begin to bridge some gaps.

Our Most Sincere Thanks

Thanks so much to our program committee, our onsite volunteers and everyone who helped us spread the word about the event. We want to especially thank our friends from the FOSDEM video team, who joined us the day after FOSDEM (which is already a massive gift to the free software community!) and spent the day live-streaming and recording all our sessions. Thank you as well to the lovely folks at DigitYser who went above and beyond to assist the video team and promote our event to the local Belgian community.

Conservancy staff members in front of a Copyleft Conf sign.

Copyleft Conf would've been nothing without our speakers and discussion leaders, or our inspiring keynote Molly deBlanc, who set a high-minded and altruistic goal for the day's discussions. We are also very grateful to our sponsors and of course, all our lovely attendees who took a chance and came out for an inaugural event.

What's Next?

We're so glad you asked! First of all, make sure you stay in touch by joining our low-traffic mailing list. Also, stay tuned, because video is coming. We will let you know when it's all up and we hope you'll share the sessions you liked with friends and colleagues. And finally, please let us know if you have thoughts for making Copyleft Conf better next time, via email. We'd love to hear from you.

Both images are licensed CC.BY.SA, the picture of Molly deBlanc was taken by Leslie Hawthorn and the staff picture by Deb Nicholson (with help.)

Tags: conservancy, Copyleft Conf

Please email any comments on this entry to info@sfconservancy.org.

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