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Eben Moglen Explains Freedom and Free Software in Two Video Interviews 78

Posted by Roblimo
from the wise-students-listen-carefully-when-the-master-speaks dept.
Eben Moglen, says Wikipedia, "is a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, and is the founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of [the] Software Freedom Law Center, whose client list includes numerous pro bono clients, such as the Free Software Foundation." And if that wasn't enough, since 2011 he's been working with FreedomBox, a project working toward "a personal server running a free software operating system, with free applications designed to create and preserve personal privacy." Prof. Moglen is also one of the most polished speakers anywhere, on any topic, ever. That's why, instead of editing this interview Timothy Lord did with him, we simply cut it in half, removed a little introductory and end conversation, and let the Professor roll on. The second half of this interview will run tomorrow. It's at least as worthwhile as the first half, especially if you are interested in Free Software.

Eben Moglen: Software Freedom Law Center was created in 2005, and is a non-profit legal services company, which provides free legal advice to non-profit makers and distributors of free and open source software.

So, our job is to provide legal advice to the people who make and distribute free software, who don’t have a revenue stream to pay for legal services. We are supported almost entirely by the generous donations of businesses that make use of FOSS in their products and services. And they provide that support to us because good legal advice to the people who make the software in the non-profit sector ensures them fewer difficulties and easier business climate in the use of that software for their business purposes.

They pass that software on or deliver services over that software to their own customers, and having good legal assurance and good understanding of their relationship to the manufacturers and distributors of that free software is benefit to them. So, we are essentially people who explore a world of win-win solutions on behalf of the developers at FOSS.

Timothy Lord: And the supporters you mentioned, are any of those big names in the free software community now or is that businesses that people wouldn’t realize is supporting them?

Eben Moglen: Oh, that’s IBM and Hewlett Packard, and Oracle, and Qualcomm and others around the world who have very big businesses that make very big use of free and open source software, and the use they make is use which is on the basis of their understanding that everybody is following the rules and everybody using those rules in creative and productive ways is profitable to them.

Timothy Lord: Now, was there a gap that you were filling when you founded this a few years back?

Eben Moglen: One way of thinking about it is that I had been working for a very long time with Richard Stallman doing legal work primarily for the Free Software Foundation. And sometimes I did work that helped people in the commercial world, either in relation to the Free Software Foundation or in matters that had nothing to do with the Free Software Foundation, but I had been between 1993 and 2005 basically a law professor part time doing all of this work.

When the SCO lawsuit concentrated people’s attention in the industrial community on both the value of the software to them, and the amount of disruption, inconvenience caused, and difficulty that even one frivolous lawsuit could create, there was an opportunity to get people to concentrate on the value of supporting community organizations. And that’s really the gap that SFLC was created to fill.

I see it, as a law professor, also very much as a vehicle of training to provide lawyers, to business and to the community, alumni of SFLC, if you like, or counsel at Red Hat and Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and are in other ways, pillars of the community both on the commercial and on the non-profit side. I think of our helping to create a social community knowledgeable in the affairs of law, the affairs of business and the affairs of free software as a crucial gap also that SFLC fills.

Timothy Lord: You mentioned the SCO lawsuit, have you seen a change in the business world’s attitude about free software as a result of that software patents and disputed trademarks, things like that?

Eben Moglen: My view is that these are forces operating all out of the same fundamental reality which is the enormous commercial importance of sharing. It has been underestimated in the view that capitalism took of itself in the middle of the 20th century, and this is sort of a surprise because capitalism in the middle of the 20th century derived its growth from science which is organized sharing. But it came under the impression that ownership did everything and sharing did little. And there was a period in which under emphasis on the importance of the sharing economy was part of the sort of music of American capitalism.

The IT industry at the end of the 20th century began to experience once again the enormous importance of sharing. The importance of sharing transformed the IT software market by breaking forever Microsoft’s hold on the server side of IT, which is now a completely different world. And what made it a completely different world was free software. What made it a completely different world was thousands and then tens of thousands of people, two of them were Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds and that’s a very special kind of human being. But there were tens of thousands of human beings who shared their way into the creation of enormous value, which transformed the industry.

Of course, there was friction along with that, and the SCO lawsuit is a tiny example of a tiny kind of friction being amplified by some machinery we could call the monopoly trying to hang on. It didn’t work. It didn’t work because the friction was tiny, frivolous legal claims are not actually much friction, but they were backed by a lot of force, and the force didn’t work because sharing was better.

Now, we are in a world in which there are a small number of incumbents who need to stop time, a very small percentage, under 8% of all the mobile phones in the world, makes the majority of all the profit. And a company which has enormous stake in the existing world of server, and client, and PCs, and even servers still is confronting the cloud, which is made to the extent that clouds are made of anything of a kind of water vapor that consists of our work indefinitely repeated and virtualized, and without any marginal cost of friction of any kind.

Timothy Lord: On that front, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about Freedom Box which really seems to tie into the concept of protecting people’s work and people’s privacy on the cloud as opposed to what would have been conventional software distribution at least 10 years ago?

Eben Moglen: Yes, because the IT paradigm of our world is changing for everybody including us to a paradigm which can best be described as cloud to mobile, by which that means ServerIron having been basically virtualized out of physical existence, so that it embraces utility computing, load balancing concepts throughout the net as a whole. Thus meaning that, if you do your computing or storing outside computers of your own, you are doing them everywhere and nowhere at once subject to whatever rules the people running the utility system choose to impose.

An early but devastating consequence of the shift in that direction can be the destruction of human privacy, because data stored on servers whose logs can be data mined and where the storage can be subpoenaed by governments using force or fraud or mere displays of power, when there’s all the stuff that comprises our digital personality in the 21st century vulnerable, vulnerable to data mining and prediction, and vulnerable to government appropriation and misuse.

So, we need to do something which is also not the world we came from, not the store-it-all in your own thing, in your pocket world, not the PC world, but instead a cloud to mobile world that belongs to us.

Freedom Box is an approach to building software that says, there is a lot of software in the average hacker’s free software laptop that protects her privacy. She has SSH and she proxies with it, she has TINC and OpenVPN and other ways of laying an encrypted end-to-end network on top of the untrusted network. She has Privoxy and Adblock Plus and HTTPS everywhere and TrackMeNot and lots of other tools for restoring the balance of power in the web.

We could talk about putting all that free software in everybody’s computers, but they have fewer and fewer computers and they use more and more lock down devices that don’t let you change or rebalance the software to suit your own needs, because the robot you are carrying around with you really works for someone else. On the other hand, we’re also going to have billions of tiny little cheap server boxes that are the size of AC chargers for cell phones.

Now, if we put the free software that protects privacy, not in the laptop people aren’t carrying, and not in the mobile phone that we can’t trust and that they’re allowed to change, but if we put it in a box that can sit in their apartment or their office or a safe deposit box in a bank, and communicate with the rest of the network for them and securely communicate to what they’re actually carrying, then we can have a cloud which has privacy and security in it. And we can have a cloud to mobile world that actually does all the wonderful things that the big boys also want to do, but doesn’t risk human beings’ privacy.

So, Freedom Box is an effort to use free software pro-privacy tools we already have, and pro-privacy tools we can make easily out of tools we already have, and put them together in ways which allow them to run in the kind of devices that are going to be everywhere, partly plugged service, but partially also dishwashers, and refrigerators, and coffee pots, and all sorts of other things that people are going to spread around the world, and that we can turn into a cloud that makes privacy.

Timothy Lord: I know there was recently a, basically a developer-oriented release of Freedom Box. We actually had a reader who wrote in to ask what will it take to put that technology into the hands of more people, some of whom are really very technologically savvy and some of whom aren’t, what is the next step in sort of making that happen as a marketing or a knowledge campaign?

Eben Moglen: The next step in making it happen is to go from the initial developers release that we just made, to a release which contains that functionality and the beginning of a flexible and robust user interface that makes configuring and deploying that software in the boxes that are our little model organisms possible for people who aren’t hackers accustomed to configuring systems by modifying ASCII files in ETSI. The developers release is a developers release that deals with people who understand how to edit things in ETSI and change the behavior of computers accordingly.

Later, something else needs to be there. We have a something else under development. We regard it too as a transitional organism not the final user experience structure for anything, but a way to do precisely what your reader expects us to do, which is to make that functionality at approximately its current level of completeness or incompleteness, available to a broader bunch of users. After which, we can go after both the target of improving functionality and the target of improving user experience based not only on what we think, but on what a much larger community of users thinks.

Timothy Lord: Where do you find design experts to help you create something that’s going to appeal that way?

Eben Moglen: Where you find people is where you find people in community production of software too, you let them come to you. There are a couple of core of graduate students in digital industrial design around the world who want to make things, and there are people who want to make hardware and want to make systems that embrace Freedom Box functional elements.

And there are people who are committed, both amateurs and professionals of design, who care about Freedom Box as users and community members, and who want to put their shoulders to the wheel. But all of this is happening in precisely the same emergent fashion that all free software activities really come from even when they are inside Google or some other very large pro-free software organization letting engineers do things, the answer is, it still comes from letting people do things.

And so that’s where all our stuff is going to come from. It comes from letting people do things, which is why it doesn’t roll out in smooth waves of corporately engineered product structure, because we don’t make things that way and we don’t want to. I think that what’s going to happen is people are going to say “Boy, that’s really weak, I can improve that.” That’s how it’s going to happen. And designers are people too. They’re not only captives of the Apple penitentiary, they are people too.

And they get to the point where they want to do a new thing and it’s hard to do a new thing if the box won’t let you. So, there are people out there already beginning to wonder whether they should immigrate from the world of the hyper-refined Apple universe into the world of “I’m living on the frontier and I can do it however I want to do it.” And that’s really the great value of free software in the end.

Even if the big heavy weight powerful companies were all pro-freedom, which they’re not, some of them are and some of them aren’t, still that’s not where the primary source of innovation would come from. The primary source of innovation would still come from people saying that’s really not as good as I can do.

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Eben Moglen Explains Freedom and Free Software in Two Video Interviews

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @03:08PM (#41696939)

    You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.
    Please click here to continue.

    • by bug1 (96678)

      You need to have the Adobe Flash Player to view this content.
      Please click here to continue.

      You lucky, lucky bastard. (in my best monty python voice)

      All i see is normal white background, i didnt even get a button that doesnt work.

  • Access (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mfwitten (1906728) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @03:17PM (#41697061)

    Please provide links to downloadable files for future videos; please don't force your users to suffer some terribly inefficient and limited player like that of an embedded flash player—not only does, say, mplayer use far fewer cycles to play the same damn video, but I can also speed up playback to nearly 2x the rate (without comical effect!), which saves me time, thereby allowing me to spend more time viewing slashdot advertisements.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      I am always amazed when someone mentions the advertising on this site since almost everyone uses ad-blockers theses days, but also if you are in good standing slashdot gives you the option of not seeing the advertisements.

      I really don't think slashdot makes much from displaying advertisements.

      Now if slashvertisements are real, well they may make some money off those.

      • by mfwitten (1906728)

        I'm amazed that your comment is getting modded up, even though it has basically nothing to do with my point.

        • by Jeng (926980)

          My point was that slashdot probably doesn't really care if you do or do not view their advertisements.

          I agree with you that there really is no reason why my comment should be modded up.

    • ...and the irony! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @03:36PM (#41697293) Journal
      Did they even ask Eben Moglen's opinion on presenting an interview with him using the non-free flash player?
      And I concur with mfwitten - please provide a downloadable link, even if it's to the accursed ooyala.com...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jalet (36114)

        I don't know for Eben Moglen, but I can say for sure that RMS didn't appreciate when we recorded and streamed a conference of him with proprietary software and codecs (RealServer+RealVideo).

        Not only did we re-encode the video into an open format, but we went so far as to develop an entirely Free conferences/courses recording and streaming software (based on GStreamer) as a result.

        Unfortunately the original website is down, but the latest source code is currently available from http://depot.univ-nc.nc/source [univ-nc.nc]

    • by YurB (2583187)
      I'm writing just to tell that I'm too in need of the ability to kick out that flash player, this time because my netbook screen's 1024px width is just cutting off approximately 30% of the flash player fixed-width box here... If it was html5, it would have been a completely different story. Let's begin making the world better by making small better:)
      • by YurB (2583187)
        By the way, recently bought a used machine without sse2 and found that Adobe has "improved" their flash player not to execute on machines without sse2 (I've heard that they were able to make this a linux-only issue which is especially illustrative of how they're doing their cross-platform work.)
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Why would you have "recently" bought such a piece of shit? You could have dumpster dived a Core2Duo system that is infinitely less shitty than the system you are whining about Adobe not supporting.

          • by YurB (2583187)
            Sometimes such a "piece of shit" is just enough. I've spent $30 on it plus some $5 on additional RAM and $15 on a DVD burner. In fact, I still have a Pentium II (350 MHz), and it's able to serve very well as a NAT and a small web server for personal purposes. I just think that if machine works and can be useful, why not use it? Of course I don't run Windows 7 on that machine (and I have no interest in doing that), but for what I need it for, it's just perfect.
    • by iroll (717924)

      Don't you think you might be projecting just a teensy bit? Most people aren't suffering when they watch a video on youtube. Neither are their computers.

      If you're a sophisticated enough user to care about the number of cycles mplayer uses versus flash, you should be sophisticated enough to, say, install a userscript like ViewTube

      http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/87011 [userscripts.org]

      ...that will send the video format (codec and size) of your choice to a non-flash player of your choice. You can even download the video an

      • by mfwitten (1906728)

        This is a straw man argument.

        I'm talking about slashdot, not youtube, for which there do indeed exist simple tools.

        • by iroll (717924)

          Reading this and your previous post, I don't think you know what a straw man argument is.

          • by mfwitten (1906728)

            * straw man, strawman [princeton.edu] (a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted)

            * straw man [reference.com]: a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument: The issue she railed about was no more than a straw man.

            * A straw man [wikipedia.org], also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally,[1][2] is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[3] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by

            • by iroll (717924)

              Just because you can copy and paste doesn't mean you can parse. Keep trying, though!

      • He's a troll or an idiot or both. And you are correct, if someone wants to use software that can't do the job, it's their problem. If someone like Slashdot provides the service at no cost, they shouldn't also be asked to kiss the asses of the smallest percentage of viewers. The majority who have proprietary software are obviously the ones who actually spend money. Why would a for profit company care what people who don't spend money for their stuff, think? Especially if their income is at least in part adve
    • I agree. Slashdot's implementation of Ooyala Player really sucks. It doesn't even work in my Firefox... probably because I have Flash Local Storage turned off.

      Give me a damned link to YouTube or whatever, and let me watch it on my own.
    • by Lennie (16154)

      A HTML5 video-tag would have been fine too.

    • by melikamp (631205)
      If they don't have Flash spying on you, how do they know which ads are best for you?
    • by CamD (964822)

      https://code.google.com/p/get-flash-videos/ [google.com]
      It's also in the Debian repository, possibly others.

      To stream (in mplayer, by default):
      $ get_flash_videos --play "$slashdot_url"

  • by Jeng (926980) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @03:22PM (#41697121)

    That's why, instead of editing this interview Timothy Lord did with him, we simply cut it in half, removed a little introductory and end conversation, and let the Professor roll on.

    Yea, that's the ticket, we don't need editing, just cut the video in two. Also, lets make sure to remove context like introductions.

    Ok, since all you did was cut the video in two and remove context, did you at least make a transcript this time?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      no, but they did include the video on FOSS in Flash.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      There is a link under the video to hide or show a transcript.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ok, since all you did was cut the video in two and remove context, did you at least make a transcript this time?

      Are you not seeing the hide/show transcript link below the video!? Very well, for people who cannot click:

      Eben Moglen: Software Freedom Law Center was created in 2005, and is a non-profit legal services company, which provides free legal advice to non-profit makers and distributors of free and open source software.

      So, our job is to provide legal advice to the people who make and distribute free software, who don’t have a revenue stream to pay for legal services. We are supported almost entirely by the generous donations of businesses that make use of FOSS in their products and services. And they provide that support to us because good legal advice to the people who make the software in the non-profit sector ensures them fewer difficulties and easier business climate in the use of that software for their business purposes.

      They pass that software on or deliver services over that software to their own customers, and having good legal assurance and good understanding of their relationship to the manufacturers and distributors of that free software is benefit to them. So, we are essentially people who explore a world of win-win solutions on behalf of the developers at FOSS.

      Timothy Lord: And the supporters you mentioned, are any of those big names in the free software community now or is that businesses that people wouldn’t realize is supporting them?

      Eben Moglen: Oh, that’s IBM and Hewlett Packard, and Oracle, and Qualcomm and others around the world who have very big businesses that make very big use of free and open source software, and the use they make is use which is on the basis of their understanding that everybody is following the rules and everybody using those rules in creative and productive ways is profitable to them.

      Timothy Lord: Now, was there a gap that you were filling when you founded this a few years back?

      Eben Moglen: One way of thinking about it is that I had been working for a very long time with Richard Stallman doing legal work primarily for the Free Software Foundation. And sometimes I did work that helped people in the commercial world, either in relation to the Free Software Foundation or in matters that had nothing to do with the Free Software Foundation, but I had been between 1993 and 2005 basically a law professor part time doing all of this work.

      When the SCO lawsuit concentrated people’s attention in the industrial community on both the value of the software to them, and the amount of disruption, inconvenience caused, and difficulty that even one frivolous lawsuit could create, there was an opportunity to get people to concentrate on the value of supporting community organizations. And that’s really the gap that SFLC was created to fill.

      I see it, as a law professor, also very much as a vehicle of training to provide lawyers, to business and to the community, alumni of SFLC, if you like, or counsel at Red Hat and Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and are in other ways, pillars of the community both on the commercial and on the non-profit side. I think of our helping to create a social community knowledgeable in the affairs of law, the affairs of business and the affairs of free software as a crucial gap also that SFLC fills.

      Timothy Lord: You mentioned the SCO lawsuit, have you seen a change in the business world’s attitude about free software as a result of that software patents and disputed trademarks, things like that?

      Eben Moglen: My view is that these are forces operating all out of the same fundamental reality which is the enormous commercial importance of sharing. It has been underestimated in the view that capitalism took of itself in the middle of the 20th century, and this is sort of a surprise because capitalism in the middle of the 20th century derived its growth from science which is organized sharing. But it came under the impression that ownership did everything and sharing did little. And there was a period in which under emphasis on the importance of the sharing economy was part of the sort of music of American capitalism.

      The IT industry at the end of the 20th century began to experience once again the enormous importance of sharing. The importance of sharing transformed the IT software market by breaking forever Microsoft’s hold on the server side of IT, which is now a completely different world. And what made it a completely different world was free software. What made it a completely different world was thousands and then tens of thousands of people, two of them were Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds and that’s a very special kind of human being. But there were tens of thousands of human beings who shared their way into the creation of enormous value, which transformed the industry.

      Of course, there was friction along with that, and the SCO lawsuit is a tiny example of a tiny kind of friction being amplified by some machinery we could call the monopoly trying to hang on. It didn’t work. It didn’t work because the friction was tiny, frivolous legal claims are not actually much friction, but they were backed by a lot of force, and the force didn’t work because sharing was better.

      Now, we are in a world in which there are a small number of incumbents who need to stop time, a very small percentage, under 8% of all the mobile phones in the world, makes the majority of all the profit. And a company which has enormous stake in the existing world of server, and client, and PCs, and even servers still is confronting the cloud, which is made to the extent that clouds are made of anything of a kind of water vapor that consists of our work indefinitely repeated and virtualized, and without any marginal cost of friction of any kind.

      Timothy Lord: On that front, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about Freedom Box which really seems to tie into the concept of protecting people’s work and people’s privacy on the cloud as opposed to what would have been conventional software distribution at least 10 years ago?

      Eben Moglen: Yes, because the IT paradigm of our world is changing for everybody including us to a paradigm which can best be described as cloud to mobile, by which that means ServerIron having been basically virtualized out of physical existence, so that it embraces utility computing, load balancing concepts throughout the net as a whole. Thus meaning that, if you do your computing or storing outside computers of your own, you are doing them everywhere and nowhere at once subject to whatever rules the people running the utility system choose to impose.

      An early but devastating consequence of the shift in that direction can be the destruction of human privacy, because data stored on servers whose logs can be data mined and where the storage can be subpoenaed by governments using force or fraud or mere displays of power, when there’s all the stuff that comprises our digital personality in the 21st century vulnerable, vulnerable to data mining and prediction, and vulnerable to government appropriation and misuse.

      So, we need to do something which is also not the world we came from, not the store-it-all in your own thing, in your pocket world, not the PC world, but instead a cloud to mobile world that belongs to us.

      Freedom Box is an approach to building software that says, there is a lot of software in the average hacker’s free software laptop that protects her privacy. She has SSH and she proxies with it, she has TINC and OpenVPN and other ways of laying an encrypted end-to-end network on top of the untrusted network. She has Privoxy and Adblock Plus and HTTPS everywhere and TrackMeNot and lots of other tools for restoring the balance of power in the web.

      We could talk about putting all that free software in everybody’s computers, but they have fewer and fewer computers and they use more and more lock down devices that don’t let you change or rebalance the software to suit your own needs, because the robot you are carrying around with you really works for someone else. On the other hand, we’re also going to have billions of tiny little cheap server boxes that are the size of AC chargers for cell phones.

      Now, if we put the free software that protects privacy, not in the laptop people aren’t carrying, and not in the mobile phone that we can’t trust and that they’re allowed to change, but if we put it in a box that can sit in their apartment or their office or a safe deposit box in a bank, and communicate with the rest of the network for them and securely communicate to what they’re actually carrying, then we can have a cloud which has privacy and security in it. And we can have a cloud to mobile world that actually does all the wonderful things that the big boys also want to do, but doesn’t risk human beings’ privacy.

      So, Freedom Box is an effort to use free software pro-privacy tools we already have, and pro-privacy tools we can make easily out of tools we already have, and put them together in ways which allow them to run in the kind of devices that are going to be everywhere, partly plugged service, but partially also dishwashers, and refrigerators, and coffee pots, and all sorts of other things that people are going to spread around the world, and that we can turn into a cloud that makes privacy.

      Timothy Lord: I know there was recently a, basically a developer-oriented release of Freedom Box. We actually had a reader who wrote in to ask what will it take to put that technology into the hands of more people, some of whom are really very technologically savvy and some of whom aren’t, what is the next step in sort of making that happen as a marketing or a knowledge campaign?

      Eben Moglen: The next step in making it happen is to go from the initial developers release that we just made, to a release which contains that functionality and the beginning of a flexible and robust user interface that makes configuring and deploying that software in the boxes that are our little model organisms possible for people who aren’t hackers accustomed to configuring systems by modifying ASCII files in ETSI. The developers release is a developers release that deals with people who understand how to edit things in ETSI and change the behavior of computers accordingly.

      Later, something else needs to be there. We have a something else under development. We regard it too as a transitional organism not the final user experience structure for anything, but a way to do precisely what your reader expects us to do, which is to make that functionality at approximately its current level of completeness or incompleteness, available to a broader bunch of users. After which, we can go after both the target of improving functionality and the target of improving user experience based not only on what we think, but on what a much larger community of users thinks.

      Timothy Lord: Where do you find design experts to help you create something that’s going to appeal that way?

      Eben Moglen: Where you find people is where you find people in community production of software too, you let them come to you. There are a couple of core of graduate students in digital industrial design around the world who want to make things, and there are people who want to make hardware and want to make systems that embrace Freedom Box functional elements.

      And there are people who are committed, both amateurs and professionals of design, who care about Freedom Box as users and community members, and who want to put their shoulders to the wheel. But all of this is happening in precisely the same emergent fashion that all free software activities really come from even when they are inside Google or some other very large pro-free software organization letting engineers do things, the answer is, it still comes from letting people do things.

      And so that’s where all our stuff is going to come from. It comes from letting people do things, which is why it doesn’t roll out in smooth waves of corporately engineered product structure, because we don’t make things that way and we don’t want to. I think that what’s going to happen is people are going to say “Boy, that’s really weak, I can improve that.” That’s how it’s going to happen. And designers are people too. They’re not only captives of the Apple penitentiary, they are people too.

      And they get to the point where they want to do a new thing and it’s hard to do a new thing if the box won’t let you. So, there are people out there already beginning to wonder whether they should immigrate from the world of the hyper-refined Apple universe into the world of “I’m living on the frontier and I can do it however I want to do it.” And that’s really the great value of free software in the end.

      Even if the big heavy weight powerful companies were all pro-freedom, which they’re not, some of them are and some of them aren’t, still that’s not where the primary source of innovation would come from. The primary source of innovation would still come from people saying that’s really not as good as I can do.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        Thanks, didn't think to look at the section between the media player and the comments, I would have figured a link to the transcript would be in the summary.

  • Free-as-in-Irony issues aside, I'm not sure I like this jankyPlayer(tm) technology... the quality pogos worse than a comcast youtube proxy.

  • Prof. Moglen is also one of the most polished speakers anywhere, on any topic, ever.

    Except when he's straight up yelling at interviewers? [betabeat.com]

    • Actually I was thinking the submitter must be Californian .... /valley-girl "Prof. Moglen is, like, one of the most polished speakers anywhere, EVAR!"

    • Interesting link — although the content seems not to bear out the headline.

      It looks like a disagreement over stance to me, with some parts highlighted in bold to emphasise the author's point that Eben held a different view to him. There's one "," but no "" or "" — it's not as if Eben was even saying something stupid or irrelevant, just seemingly not what the author wanted to hear for his article, and characterised Eben's answers as "yelling."

    • Prof. Moglen is also one of the most polished speakers anywhere, on any topic, ever.

      Except when he's straight up yelling at interviewers?

      ...and given the video evidence except when he is speaking. Perhaps the submitter should give their second interview for a bit of comparison before making sweeping claims like this.

    • by fatphil (181876)
      Thanks for the link. I'm not surprised he was yelling at that interviewer, who had terminal cluelessness.
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday October 18, 2012 @04:36PM (#41698151)

    Now that we've had the requisite 400 posts complaining about the video codec and the bad jokes, does anyone care to comment on what he said?

    Anyone?

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      No. If I wanted to watch video, I would be on YouTube, not Slashdot. I come to Slashdot to *read*.
    • by snsh (968808)

      Got bored after watching for 20 seconds. Mad at OP for saying this is "one of the most polished speakers, anywhere, on any topic" making me think this is some sort of William Shatner or RFK.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      I'll be happy to.

      On the 'Software Freedom' subject, as always, I do wish they use the term 'Liberated Software' or 'Liberation of Software' instead. It's a more accurate description of their agenda, and while they may fear the being perceived as Marxists, it would certainly be far more accurate than the downright lying 'free software' they've been peddling. Also, when someone is talking about replacing ASCII files in ETSI, he loses me. I prefer graphically configurable tools, and in terms of text stand

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Now that we've had the requisite 400 posts complaining about the video codec and the bad jokes, does anyone care to comment on what he said?

      Anyone?

      I think it was something to do with software. But as there was no violence, no sex, no swearing and no explosions I can't say I was paying much attention. Slashdot really needs to liven up its videos. Also, the soundtrack was shit.

  • Upload to Youtube (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @06:28PM (#41699409)

    Seriously, Slashdot, please consider it. The player is better, and crucially it's trivial to download the content then strip out the audio.

    Then like most lectures I can listen to it on headphones while doing so many other things away from the computer. This is a major asset.

    Or just supply the ogg. That would work fine. Just please do it. The increase in utility is enormous.

  • Since this guy has apparently outed himself as an actual Communist, we should beware what he says. I appreciate free software, but he seems to actually believe that free software will advance a world Communist agenda.

    Notice the use of qualifiers - I don't want to get sued by some asshole. I'd have to respond by forcing them into a wood chipper, feet first, while they were still alive.

  • When I see floating quotation marks, reputation of the person who made it drops below zero. Doesn't matter what he achieved before.

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      Always nice to see fallacious thought at play.

      Smart people know how to adapt and adopt.

      Feel free to return to your hand washing.

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