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Looking back: Software freedom discussion @FOSDEM


Once again we co-organised our now well-known Legal & Policy Issues Devroom during FOSDEM 2024. The discussions in this track covered important issues for Software Freedom, such as CRA, RHEL, GPL termination, where discussed. Thanks to everyone who participated in it!

Image showing the devroom organizers discussing with the participants

The Legal and Policy Issues Devroom took place on the first day of FOSDEM in one of the main rooms, which was packed throughout the track. In fact, this was the 12th edition and FSFE’s fourth year of co-organising in this devroom.

Together with our co-hosts this devroom once again focused on current political and legal challenges we face in the world of software freedom. These included discussions on recent licencing practices around RHEL and CentOS, questions on how to deal with with trademark issues, GPL termination under German law, discussion around GPLv3/AGPLv3 Section 7 and the new Swiss law on the procurement of Free Software.

id you miss the talks or do you want to watch them again? We have complied all the talks from this devroom in this video

As always the dev room ended with a discussion that brought all the organisers on stage: Karen Sandler and Bradley Kuhn from the Software Freedom Conservancy, Tom Marble, and Alexander Sander and Matthias Kirschner from FSFE talked about the most important issues for software freedom, touching on the Liability discussion in Europe around the Cyber Resilience Act, Product Liability Directive but also the AI Act, as well as discussing current cases and campaigns.

“Once again, we were able to bring exciting and pressing issues related to the law and politics of software freedom to the stage and discuss them with the FOSDEM community, raising awareness of how these issues intersect strongly with technological advances, and therefore why it is important to address and debate them”.

Alexander Sander, FSFE's Senior Policy Consultant and one of the devroom organizers

Last but not least, we want to thank you to everyone who take part of this devroom, from the amazing speakers to the participants who engaged in fruitful discussions to the FOSDEM organizers. We cannot wait to see you next year! And if you have any suggestion about topics and speakers, please do not hesitate to contact us!