State to host 5th global meet on free software

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on December 02, 2014 Published on December 02, 2014

The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software will organise the fifth international free and open source software conference, ‘Swatantra 2014’ from December 18 to 20 here.

This is the fifth in the series of free software conferences organised with the support of the State government, with previous conferences having been held in 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

Event theme

‘Free software for a free world’ will be theme of the event this year. At least 150 free software practitioners, developers, activists, students and policymakers from here and abroad are expected to attend.

Richard Stallman, Director, Free Software Foundation, Boston, will deliver the keynote address on the topic ‘Beyond free software’ at 5 pm on December 18.

PH Kurian, Principal Secretary (IT), Kerala, will formally inaugurate the event the next morning.

The conference aims to reflect on the emerging concerns that citizens and communities face, ranging from privacy to online rights and freedom and security, a spokesperson for the organisers said.

Viable alternative

Free software provides a viable alternative to proprietary software which often compromises on these aspects, said Satish Babu, Director of the International Centre.

It also provides a technologically robust and cost effective alternative to other genres for all public uses, notably in academia, government, personal computing, and even in arts and culture, Babu added.

Practitioners of non-software domains such as open data, open access, open standards, and free culture – including literature, music, film, and print media – will attend the event.

Dignitaries participating include economist Rahul De (IIM Bangalore); Nina Paley, independent free culture activist from New York; Kannan Moudgalya (IIT-Bombay); Sasi Kumar (CDAC, Mumbai); P Balasubramanian (Open Technologies Centre of NIC, Chennai); Arun Mehta (Bidirectional Access Promotion Society, Delhi); and Govind, (CEO, National Internet Exchange of India, Delhi).

Published on December 02, 2014
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